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As-It-Happened: Red Stars draw Boston in front of sellout crowd

A stream-of-consciousness replay of Sunday's match

Hello, welcome to this Chicago Red Stars live blog style recap action thing. Full disclosure - I was stuck at the Philadelphia airport waiting for the weather to clear in Chicago when this game started and was in the air when it went down. So I only saw it after the fact, but I wrote this while I watched it for the first time. These are my spontaneous thoughts, live! Uncut! As it happened!

And, without further ado, let's get started shall we. Whoa! A seeming crane shot opens the coverage. It zooms over the stadium in Lisle kind of gliding like some sort of flying bird that flies. Neat. I think the production budge was blown on that shot. Also, former Red Star, holding mid and header extraordinaire, Jackie Santacaterina, is doing color commentary! Jackie!


Starting Lineup:

Huerta / Hoy

Dibernardo

Chalupny / Mautz

Colaprico

Gilliland / Johnson / Erceg / Hemmings

LeBlanc

I like this, cuz we continue to slowly ease the national team players back into rotation. First it was Erceg for a few games. Now we've got LeBlanc back in goal and Chalupny back in the midfield. Slow and steady. Also, I'd like to take the opportunity to say that Michele Dalton did amazing in her time as starting goalkeeper! Well done!

I'm also interested to see if our midfield formation changes at all with Chalupny back in the lineup. Will we continue our diamond-esque maneuvers or will we try something else, go back to the flat four with Chalupny and Dibernardo in the middle and Colaprico on the wing with Mautz? Hmm. Tough to call. And we had so much success with our diamond, it's hard for me to root for change right now. But, y'know, life is change, you never step in the same river twice, or something.

And just as I wrote that, out the players come and it looks like it's a straight swap Chalupny for Quon. We will see if any morphology happens as the game goes on.

We are still kicking it with some herky jerk camera work. As we do in Chicago. Still dreaming of the day that we have a different production company. More sold out games so that we can afford to upgrade, please!

As always I will profess my love for Hemmings as the right back. Doing the defensive work but so fabulous going forward, working her way through defenders to the endline and threading passes and crosses through to runners in the box.

Fifth minute - Mautz tries to repeat her beautiful cross to head trick from last time out and finds Hoy who does get her foot on it but it goes straight to goalkeeper Naeher.

That herky jerk camera is making it hard to follow this one. Hard to get a sense of flow and hard to tell what play is actually being made or what part of the body the players are getting on the ball or if they're touching the ball and who is passing to who, etc. On the plus side, I can hear the crowd chanting! More sold out games, please!

Ahhh, we might see cooling breaks tonight. Hopefully we won't see any melting shoes tonight since we roll on some famously awful turf and it was shit hot out in Chicago today.

Side note - is Mautz pronounced Mawts or Motts like applesauce? I know it's not Moots, right?

18 minutes in and Boston hasn't had much going at all. Mewis had a non-threatening shot from distance that went wide, but that was all. Chicago has had most of the play so far, passing through the midfield at will, creating a few solid chances, but not able to finish anything yet.

In the 21st minute, after the first Chicago corner, Chalupny wins the ball back in a duel, knocking an unidentified Boston player to the ground in the process. She settles it for Huerta who runs at Boston who backs off of her and she takes a shot as soon as she's in the box, it's on target, but goes just over the cross bar.

Sorry to flog a dead horse, but this stream is particularly bad this time. Like I'm watching it on my friend's BBS with a dial-up connection. The dream of the 90s is alive!

24th minute and Boston takes another shot. Olé!

And immediately after it seems that Boston has had enough of Chalupny knocking their players down and takes her down hard. Historically, she does foul a lot, but she is on the receiving end even more.

Glad to hear that Dames has at least played lip service to making the returning World Cup players earn their spots in the lineup. I know marketing needs the names, but this supposed "B" team has been so good.

33rd minute sees Chalupny take another shot from distance and at an angle that seems to be on target, but Naeher gets a hand on it and tips it away. A few seconds later sees Hemmings make a lovely pass through to Hoy, but she's ruled offside.

Seems that our attack has been primarily going down on the right side so far. Colaprico, Hemmings and Mautz consistently working up the right. Chicago seems to play on the left only in the final third and Gilliland hasn't been involved as much. Has Boston been shutting that side down? Or are they just weaker on their left? Hmm. Hard to say.

Excitement in the 42nd minute! Boston with a deep throw in that falls to the feet of Boston's Pathman who sends a cross into the box, there is a lone Boston player there, but LeBlanc comes charging out to punch it away. The ball only goes as far as Schoepfer) who tries her luck from distance, attempting to catch LeBlanc off her line. But LeBlanc is quick and dives to her right to keep it out and Hemmings races back to prevent giving up the corner.

Local 134, loud! On Camera! Leading some back and forth chants with the crowd in the main stands, Yes! More sold out butts in seats, please!

Aaaaaaand, half time.

Aaaaaaand, second half.

Drums! Drums in the deep! of Local 134!

And there, there at the end of the 53rd minute a beauty of a goal from our senior members, Hemmings and Chalupny. A fairly long spell of possession starts with Colaprico settling the ball for Gilliland just inside Boston's half. Gilliland triangulates with Chalupny who sends it back to Colaprico who moves on up and sends it over Boston's defenders, switching fields, to Mautz who is just onside. Mautz lays it off to Dibernardo who spots Hemmings unmarked all the way on the right. Hemmings blows by her defender, works her way into the penalty area and snakes the ball through four defenders to Chalupny. Chalupny, by the way, is completely unmarked. All alone at the top of the box. Four Boston defenders are collapsing onto Hemmings with Naeher making a sliding tackle. Solitary Chalupny makes no mistake. None. And we are up 1-0. Aces! I love the goals that come from teamwork and passing most of all. They are glorious. And this year we seem to pull them off frequently. Huzzah!

Quon for Chalupny in the 61st minute. Well done Chalupny! The captain's band is given back to Hemmings. The minute ends with Gilliland making some fancy moves along the left and then in front of the goal, but her final shot/pass comes to nothing.

Oh no, teeth gnashing! Boston gets one back in the 62nd minute, although the camera missed it. McCaffrey manages to slip between Erceg and Johnson and is in on goal with only LeBlanc to beat. Which she does. Sending it to LeBlanc's left.

The only mistake of the night for our defense, so far. And they make us rue it. Rue it!

Ugh. Big yellow for Schoepfer who tackles Hoy and kind of flips her onto the turf. Free kick to us, Who will take this one? Dibernardo? Colaprico? We have specialists. Dibernardo takes it. Can we regain the lead? No. The ball is deflected by a Boston forehead.

McCaffrey tests LeBlanc again just minutes after her goal, but LeBlanc keeps it out at the cost of a corner, which Dibernardo clears. Boston is coming back into the game in this half.

Hey Adriana Leon! In for Mautz. 67th minute. Her first appearance of the season, courtesy of John Herdman's sequestering of the Canadian national players. Slow and steady repatriation. Another like for like straight swap. No changes to the formation.

70th minute and Gilliland repeats her move from earlier, blazing up the left and then cutting in towards goal, this time laying it off to Hoy who has time and space but her shot goes straight to Naeher.

Side note - Jackie Santacaterina seems pretty comfortable on the mic. Maybe she should do this color thing more often? Comfortable and knowledgeable are good.

75th minute and a yellow is given to Leon for a challenge.

Announcer Lisa Byington with all the spoilers for the Flash/Reign game. Hope you weren't hoping for an unspoiled viewing of that one.

We have settled into a bit of end of game back and forth action.

84th minute - Boxx for Hoy. We are going to defend this one out - rest Hoy and get Boxx some playing time. Oooh. I take it back - Quon drops back into the left back role and Gilliland moves up top as a striker and immediately gets a chance on goal. Looks like Boxx is now our defensive mid and Colaprico has joined the rest of the midfield in attacking.

And with a free kick taken by Erceg that comes to nothing, so ends this game.

1-1. and still top of the league, top of the league! I was hoping for another win of course, considering Boston are living in the basement of the league right now. But a point is a point right now. We were still solid aside from that one mistake by Erceg and Johnson that unfortunately led to Boston's equalizer.

Post script: Julie Johnston is kicking it with Local 134 before the welcome back post game deal. That's awfully nice of her.