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Sky Blue FC picks up first win of the season at Chicago Red Stars

Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan prepares to boot the ball away against the North Carolina Courage on May 4, 2019 in Cary, N.C. (Mitchell Northam / Pro Soccer USA)

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. — For one week Sam Kerr appeared to fix what ailed the Chicago Red Stars attack, but that didn’t last.

Kerr had a hat trick in her return from the World Cup last week in Orlando. In her home return against Sky Blue FC on Saturday, the Red Stars slumped in the goal category once again.

A late goal from Danielle Colaprico was all the Red Stars could muster in a 2-1 loss to Sky Blue. 

Sky Blue (1-7-2, 5 points) picked up its first win of the season.

Sky Blue’s first win comes just eight days after Denise Reddy was fired as head coach on June 28. Hugo Macedo was listed as Sky Blue’s coach on the team sheet. The coaching staff was not made available to reporters after the match.

“It’s a new start for us,” forward Raquel Rodriguez said. “I know it sounds weird because we’re halfway through the season, but for us, we’ve been through a lot and the odds have not been in our favor in the past, too. It’s not like we don’t perform either. I just think that the luck hasn’t been there for us, but today we didn’t accept anything less than a win. We came out with that attitude and we proved to ourselves that it’s a new beginning.”

Rodriguez scored the opening goal in the 23rd minute. She was all alone on the left wing and cruised into the box for an open shot and converted.

Jen Hoy added an insurance goal in the 81st minute against her former team. Colaprico finished a half volley two minutes later to make for a chaotic finish.

“It hasn’t been an easy run for them,” Red Stars coach Rory Dames said. “I thought the first half they were at a pace that we couldn’t find. There was always going to be a response. Last time they changed coaches they were down 3-0 and came back and won 4-3 so I think those players were always going to have a response tonight.

With the Red Stars down a goal at halftime, Dames made two changes to inject some energy into his team. Katie Johnson and Michele Vasconcelos entered for Savannah McCaskill and Nikki Stanton.

Despite second half pressure from the Red Stars (4-5-2, 14 points), Sky Blue held on for the win. Sky Blue goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan had some crucial saves and finished with seven total. The Red Stars had 23 shots in total, compared to Sky Blue’s 12.

“I thought the subs came in and really made an impact for us,” Colaprico said. “I think we started off a bit slow. Playing the midfield I felt like we got overrun in the midfield. To be honest it wasn’t good enough from our part and I think we were a different team in the second half.”

Vasconcelos left the match with a non-contact injury in the second half. She is set to have an MRI on Sunday.

The Red Stars have now lost three straight at home and four of five overall.

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