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Soccer Mon Apr 26 2010

Red Stars Silenced by Defending WPS Champs

The Chicago Red Stars (0-1-2) were given the opportunity to dethrone the 2009 Women's Professional Soccer champions not once, but twice in the team's first three matches of the 2010-11 campaign. Unfortunately, both efforts resulted in a loss with Sky Blue FC (2-0-1) squeezing past the Red Stars, 1-0, on Saturday at Toyota Park after producing the same outcome just two weeks ago in New Jersey.

"I thought Sky Blue came out aggressively in the first half," Red Stars Head Coach Emma Hayes said. "But once we settled down and got on the ball and got our midfield involved, I thought we got more dangerous as the first half progressed, and we dominated the latter stages of that period."

While both teams were held scoreless in the first half, the Red Stars were the first to threaten near the 40th minute when forward Kosovare Asllani received a cross from defender Marian Dalmy to beat Sky Blue goalkeeper Karen Bardsley for the apparent goal. In the midst of celebrating with the 3,136 fans in attendance, however, she was whistled for being offside, allowing both teams to go into the half locked up at 0-0.

Sky Blue did not have to wait long to score in the second half as the match's only goal came in the 52nd minute when Tasha Kai lofted the ball over Red Stars goalkeeper Jillian Loyden to give the defending champions the 1-0 advantage, a lead they would not surrender the remainder of the match.

"I didn't expect their goal," Red Stars midfielder Karen Carney admitted. "It kind of came out of nothing. I thought we were in control of the game and we were doing really well and then we get sucker-punched."

The Red Stars threatened to score again in the 68th minute, but another offside call extinguished their momentum and kept the team scoreless. Despite outshooting Sky Blue, 17-8, in the game, the Red Stars continue to struggle with their offensive attack. In three matches this season, Hayes' squad has only managed to beat opponent goalkeepers once.

"We're here to get results," Hayes emphasized. "We're not putting the ball in the back of the net and that's important for me to address that in training to make sure we're finishing off our opportunities."

The Red Stars will look to obtain their coveted first victory of the season this Saturday, May 1, when they invade Allston, Massachusetts, to do battle again the Boston Breakers. Kick-off is scheduled for 5 p.m.

 
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