The mid-week crowd that gathered at Benedictine Sports Complex Wednesday night got to witness a big game as the Chicago Red Stars and the Western New York Flash battled to a 2-2 draw.
Scoring opened in the first minute of the game as Chicago got started with aggressive offensive pressure early. Alyssa Mautz was able to head in a shot that had deflected off the crossbar past Flash’s keeper Adriana Franch to give the Red Stars a 1-0 lead.
Much like the first meeting between the teams, the Red Stars were only able to enjoy their small lead for a few minutes.
The Flash found their equalizer in the 12th minute. In her second start of the season, Vicki DiMartino used her speed to get behind Chicago’s back line. Her original cross was knocked out of the 18 but it fell back right to her feet. DiMartino sent in another cross, this time connecting with Adriana Martin to tie the match at 1-1.
The teams traded chances on the net throughout the first half with the Red Stars getting the better looks outshooting the Flash 6-4. On Chicago’s final shot in the half, they managed to take a 2-1 lead off a Leslie Osborne header.
Chicago had earned a corner in the 40th minute allowing Lori Chalupny to step up and take the kick sending it far post to Osborne. Her header cut back across the face of goal creeping in near post for the lead.
The Red Stars continued to apply offensive pressure in the second half looking to take a commanding lead. They did have their chances their best coming off the foot of Mautz who booted a shot from 25 yards out that Franch was forced to punch out. On the ensuing corner Osborne couldn’t collect her second goal sending her header wide.
With Chicago unable to convert the Flash capitalized in the 89th minute and extended their unbeaten streak to seven matches. The hero was Brittany Taylor who volleyed in a perfectly placed cross past Red Star’s keeper Taylor Vancil.
“Every time we play the Flash, it’s a tight battle,” said Red Stars Head Coach Rory Dames after the match. “It’s disappointing to give away the points, but I think the level of where we were a few weeks ago vs today was great.”
With each teams picking up a point from the draw, Chicago now holds 12 points, tying them with the Boston Breakers but still sitting in sixth due to goal differential. The Flash earn their 18th point, holding third place.
Chicago has one final game in June at Starfire Stadium against the Seattle Reign FC on June 29.
The Flash will return home after a four game road trip that has lasted throughout the month of June, on the 23rd to take on the Reign.