The Chicago Red Stars only needed one to beat the visiting Washington Spirit Saturday afternoon, and despite 21 shots, their lone goal was not scored by a Red Stars player. Spirit defender Tiffany McCarty’s own goal boosted Chicago not only to a win, but into 5th place on the NWSL table.

The Red Stars kept keeper Ashlyn Harris busy throughout the first half with several attempts on goal but Harris was up to the challenge. She faced 12 shots in the first half and came up with some big saves, getting her team to halftime scoreless.

At the other end of the field, the Spirit only found one real chance on goal coming in the 24th minute when Conny Pohlers took a clear shot from inside the 18. Red Star goalkeeper Erin McLeod was able to stop not only Pohlers shot, but all four of the Spirit’s shots that night to tally her 4th clean sheet.

The Red Stars caught their lucky bounce in the 62nd minute. Michelle Wenino worked her way up the right side to send a cross into the box. German international Inka Grings found the cross and headed the ball back across the face of goal when it was deflected in by McCarty for the lone goal of the game.

Chicago does have the upper hand on Boston but their two-point advantage may not last long as the Boston Breakers will play Sunday afternoon. The Red Stars will now head west for the next two week as they take on both Seattle and Portland in week 16.

The Spirit will return to the Maryland Soccerplex to take on the Breakers Saturday the 27th.

Game Notes:

-Jackie Santacetrina received her seventh start on the season, taking a place on the back line for an injured Taryn Hemmings. Hemmings will be out the remainder of the season due to a left MCL and ACL tear.

-Spirit defender and National Team defender Ali Krieger did not travel with the team as she continues to be evaluated for concussion symptoms.