Last year the Red Stars began their season away at Houston, where they suffered a two-goal loss. Not a great way to start what ended up being a fairly tough campaign, albeit one that ended in a playoff berth.
History does’t necessarily repeat itself, but it does rhyme.
To wit: the Red Stars, full of confidence and ready to take the 2017 NWSL season by storm, nonetheless flopped in Week 1 with a 2-0 loss in Houston.
The Dash got on the board early when a Route 1 counterattacking play dropped the ball right in front of Kaelia Ohai, who raced on toward goal and slotted past Alyssa Naeher for Houston’s opener.
The Red Stars pushed back and nearly got an equalizer at the tail end of the first half, but Jen Hoy’s promising chance from close range was nerfed by the offside flag.
Chicago came out swinging in the second half, with Christen Press being denied an equalizer in the 58th minute with a last-second clearance.
Some tense back-and-forth defined the rest of the second half, with both sides coming close to that elusive second goal. But with time running out, it became clear that it just wasn’t Chicago’s day. Houston’s Rachel Daly beat our own Casey Short and curled a shot into the upper corner to secure all three points for the home side.
Not the way the Red Stars will have wanted to start this campaign. Thankfully, there’s plenty of time to set things right.
The Red Stars’ home opener is next Saturday when they host FC Kansas City at Toyota Park.