The Utah Royals didn’t let elite Chicago goal scorer Sam Kerr hurt them early.
But Kerr still made an impact, helping the Red Stars (4-3-7, 19 points) pull ahead late en route to a 2-0 home win over the Royals (4-3-5, 17 points) Saturday.
Chicago defender Kathleen Naughton headed in a goal off a set piece by Danielle Colaprico in the 62nd minute to earn a 1-0 lead. In the 70th minute, Kerr broke down the Utah defense and sent a cross to Vanessa Dibernardo, who took one touch at the top of the box and fired past Royals goalkeeper Abby Smith to give Chicago a 2-0 advantage.
Utah couldn’t put together a rally against the Red Stars’ defense.
“We didn’t get it right,” Royals coach Laura Harvey said. “My responsibility. We didn’t get our game plan right from the start, I didn’t think. We didn’t execute it well enough, either.
“… Credit to Chicago. In the second half, I just thought they were better than us.”
Utah will get some help moving forward, with newly acquired Christen Press available for selection for Wednesday’s home match against the Seattle Reign.