Utah Royals FC Knocked out of Playoff Contention with 2-1 Loss at Chicago Red Stars
SANDY, Utah - Utah Royals FC (9-9-4, 31 points) fell 2-1 on the road to the Chicago Red Stars, officially knocking the team out of playoff contention. FW Christen Press scored the lone goal for Utah.
The first half proved to be a battle of the midfield, as the ball spent a majority of the time within the middle-third with both teams sharing a relatively equal amount of possession. The Red Stars were able to break through on a couple occasions, forcing GK Nicole Barnhart to come up big twice.
Chicago was the first to break the stalemate in the 40th minute when Vanessa DiBernardo forced a hard strike from outside the 18-yard-box for the opening goal of the match. Just two minutes later Utah answered back when MF Gunny Jónsdóttir sent in a cross to an oncoming Press who was able to get a head on the ball to level the score.
Once again the match went back-and-forth well into the second half. Utah was millimeters away from taking the lead in the 68th minute when a free kick led to FW Katie Stengel getting a shot on goal, but a goal-line save from Chicago defender Julie Ertz kept it out of the back of the net.
Ultimately it was Chicago who was able to take the lead when Yuki Nagasato rebounded on a save from Barnhart to secure the win for the Red Stars.
UP NEXT: URFC will once again take a short week-long absence from competition due to the FIFA international break, upon return the team will face Houston Dash at Rio Tinto Stadium in its final game of the 2019 regular-season on October 12 at 7:00 p.m. MT.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
CHI: Vanessa DiBernardo 40th minute: With the ball bouncing around just outside the 18-yard-box, thanks to a Chicago free kick, Vanessa DiBernardo stepped up and hit a hard strike from five yards outside the box past GK Nicole Barnhart.
UTA: Christen Press (Gunny Jónsdóttir) 42nd minute:Just two minutes after going down a goal Utah built up the offensive attack from the backline, ending at the feet of Gunny Jónsdóttir who sent a cross in towards the box. Christen Press was able to run onto the cross, getting a head on the ball to make the match level at 1-1 heading into halftime.
CHI: Yuki Nagasato 85th minute: Chicago forward Sam Kerr split the backline and was able to slip in for a shot on goal, but Nicole Barnhart charged off her line to make the block. However, Yuki Nagasato was there to catch the rebound and bury the shot for the win.
- The match marked the last away game for Utah Royals FC in the 2019 regular-season. The team finished with a roadrecord of 3-6-3.
- The game served as the first at SeatGeek Stadium for FW Christen Press since being traded from the Chicago Red Stars last season.
- FW Christen Press' goal was her seventh of the season and first against her former team. Meanwhile, MF Gunny Jónsdóttir's assist was her fourth of the year.
Match: Utah Royals FC vs. Chicago Red Stars
Date: Sept. 28, 2019
Venue: SeatGeek Stadium; Bridgeview, Illinois
Weather: Overcast and 60 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Utah Royals FC 1 0 0
Chicago Red Stars 1 1 2
CHI: Vanessa DiBernardo 40'
UTA: Christen Press (Gunny Jónsdóttir) 42'
CHI: Yuki Nagasato 85'
Utah Royals FC (4-4-2): Nicole Barnhart ©; Mallory Weber, Gaby Vincent, Rachel Corsie, Gunny Jonsdottir; Vero Boquete, Katie Stengel, Lo'eau LaBonta, Desiree Scott; Amy Rodriguez, Christen Press
Subs not used: Abby Smith, Maddie Nolf, Erika Tymrak, Michelle Maemone, Raisa Strom-Okimoto, Gaby Vincent, Katie Bowen
Chicago Red Stars (4-3-3): Alyssa Naeher; Casey Short, Julie Ertz ©, Tierna Davidson, Sarah Gorden; Danielle Colaprico, Morgan Brian (Katie Naughton 87'), Vanessa DiBernardo; Yuki Nagasato, Savannah McCaskill (Katie Johnson 65'), Sam Kerr
Subs not used: Mackenzie Arnold, Nikki Stanton, Maria Sanchez, Brooke Elby, Zoey Goralski, Katie Johnson
Stats Summary: UTA / CHI
Shots on Goal: 4/5
Corner Kicks: 16/16
CHI: Casey Short 67' (caution)
Referee: Elvis Osmanovic
Assistant Referees: Melissa Gonzalez, Rachel Smith
4th Official: Neven Stojsavljevic
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