Red Stars earn first point of Cup with score­less draw

Chicago Sun-Times - - SPORTS -

HER­RI­MAN, Utah — The Red Stars picked up their first point of the Na­tional Women’s Soc­cer League’s Chal­lenge Cup tour­na­ment with a score­less draw against the Port­land Thorns on Wed­nes­day.

Port­land dom­i­nated pos­ses­sion and out­shot the Red Stars’ young lineup but couldn’t man­age to score in the match played with­out fans.

Rookie Mor­gan Weaver had a good chance for the Thorns in the 14th minute, but Red Stars goal­keeper Emily Boyd got a hand on the ball and pushed it over the net. Raquel Ro­driguez also had a shot from dis­tance go just wide af­ter com­ing in off the bench in the se­cond half.

The Red Stars’ Sa­van­nah McCaskill had a free kick in the 85th minute that went wide. McCaskill played the en­tire match, record­ing three shots while adding two tack­les from the de­fen­sive side.

The game was the se­cond of the tour­na­ment for both teams. The Red Stars swapped out their lineup from the opener, with key play­ers in­clud­ing Julie Ertz, Alyssa Nae­her, Kealia Watt and Yuki Na­gasato all on the bench. Red Stars coach Rory Dames has said he wants to give young play­ers ex­pe­ri­ence dur­ing the tour­na­ment.

Six Red Stars earned their first NWSL start, with three more mak­ing their NWSL de­but.

Boyd, mak­ing her first ap­pear­ance in the tour­na­ment, started in goal, and Cassie Miller played the se­cond half. They com­bined to stop 16 shots.

Kayla Sharples and Han­nah Dav­i­son an­chored the Red Stars’ de­fense, record­ing a com­bined four tack­les, 13 clear­ances, four blocks and three in­ter­cep­tions.

The Red Stars next play the North Carolina Courage at 11:30 a.m. Sun­day.

AP

Red Stars for­ward Sa­van­nah McCaskill (9) de­fends against Thorns mid­fielder Emily Ogle on Wed­nes­day in Her­ri­man, Utah.

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