Red Stars earn first point of Cup with scoreless draw
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.
Red Stars forward Savannah McCaskill (9) defends against Thorns midfielder Emily Ogle on Wednesday in Herriman, Utah.