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The Washington Spirit move up to second place after defeating the Chicago Red Stars 1-0 on Wednesday night. This was the second time the Spirit beat the Red Stars by a 1-0 scoreline this season. The Spirit’s record improved to 6-4-1 on the year while the Red Stars drop to 6-3-1. Both teams are currently tied for second with 19 points.
As with most of the Spirit games, goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris kept her team in the game with solid performance in net. Center backs Ali Krieger and Tori Huster also played big parts in recording the team’s second shut out of the season.
In the 20th minute, defender Crystal Dunn went out of the match with what looked to be a minor injury. She was replaced by Bianca Sierra at right back.
The first real chance of the game came in the 21st minute when Chicago forward Jen Hoy broke through on a breakaway. Hoy tried to take a touch past Harris, but she dove and got a hand on the ball. Hoy was able to pick up the rebound and cut it back to Adriana Leon, who took shot. Harris was able to recover and block the second shot, putting it out for a corner kick.
In the 33rd minute, Christine Nairn drove a corner kick through to the 6-yard area. LeBlanc looked to punch it out but was pressured by Lori Linsdey, and the ball zipped past all players and out for a goal kick.
The half ended 0-0.
The second half started much like the first half with the Spirit controlling the majority of the possession and the Red Stars looking to play more direct, giving them the better chances.
The Red Stars had two close chances back-to-back in the 57th minute when forward Zakiya Bywaters hit a dipping shot to the far post that forced an impressive diving save out of Harris.
Three minutes later, Leon took a ball down with her chest and hit a full volley from about 20 yards out that hit off the crossbar to go out of bounds.
It wasn’t until the 78th minute that the deadlock would be broken when Spirit forward Jodie Taylor came through for her team yet again.
Spirit midfielder Veronica Perez took a shot from outside the 18-yard box that was deflected back out by goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc to Taylor who easily slotted it home for the 1-0 lead.
That score would hold for the rest of the game to give the Spirit their second away win at Chicago and their second consecutive win in two games on the road.
The Spirit have a bye this coming weekend, while Chicago’s next match is at Seattle Reign FC on Saturday at 9pm ET. The Spirit play again on Wednesday June 11 in Boston against the Breakers.