A first-half brace from Chicago forward Sam Kerr lifted the Red Stars over the Houston Dash this evening at SeatGeek Stadium, 3-0.
Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell denied Chicago a fourth goal with a penalty kick save in the 84th minute, setting the NWSL single-season record with her fourth penalty save of the year.
Kerr gave the Red Stars the lead in the seventh minute when she found a ball that midfielder Morgan Brian sent from midfield. The ball slipped through the Dash back line for Kerr to dribble inside the box and shoot past Campbell.
Kerr found the back of the net for the second time in the 44th minute when Chicago forward Yuki Nagasato dribbled the ball into the box and crossed it to find the Australian international near the penalty spot. Kerr held off a challenge from a Dash defender before striking the ball into the left side of the goal.
Houston nearly leveled the score in the 33rd minute when forward Rachel Daly found a loose ball in the box after a corner kick from midfielder Sofia Huerta. Daly beat two Chicago defenders in the air to win the initial ball and was the first to recover to the second ball. Her first-touch volley appeared destined for the upper left corner of the goal, but Red Stars goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher alertly leapt to push it over the bar.
Chicago forward Savannah McCaskill provided the Red Stars’ third goal in the 65th minute when she beat a pair of Dash defenders to the ball, putting it in the net on a one-touch hit.
Campbell set a league record with her fourth penalty save of the year when she denied Nagasato in the 84th minute, diving low to her right to push the spot kick wide of the target.