Sofia Huerta brace enough to lead Chicago Red Stars to 3-0 win over Boston Breakers
It was another good performance from the Chicago Red Stars as they beat the Boston Breakers 3-0 (Photo Credit : Chicago Red Stars Twitter)

Thanks to a brace from striker Sofia Huerta, the Chicago Red Stars are back on top of the NWSL table after beating the Boston Breakers 3-0 at Toyota Park

Chicago starts the game early thanks to Huerta

The Red Stars, who entered the game with some known offensive struggles, got off to the perfect start in this game. Christen Press was played in on goal but the ball went too far for her to get a good touch on it. However, she recovered quickly and passed it back to Vanessa DiBernado. The midfielder then threw a ball into Huerta, who was able to push the ball into the top right corner. After struggling for most of the season up to this point, scoring two goals in four games has shown that the striker looks to be finding up her form. It was the start that head coach Rory Dames was looking for. Chicago had not played up to their offensive potential as of late but the early goal showed things were looking up.

Chicago continued to put the pressure on early as they looked like a threat every time they moved up in the attack. They nearly made it 2-0 in the 11th minute when Press turned inside her defender and fired a shot from outside the box that went just over the bar. Chicago was dominating on the right-hand side due to the play of Alyssa Mautz. Mautz, who subbed on and made an impact in Chicago's last game, was causing all sorts of problems on the right-hand side. Casey Short had a fantastic chance in the 32nd minute when her run from the left back position was met by a great pass, which led to the ball landing in the back of the net. The only problem was that the assistant referee raised her flag for offside. Amanda DaCosta had a golden opportunity to add to Chicago's lead in the 39th minute but she slipped when trying to hit the ball. 

It was a very dominant first half for the Red Stars as Boston just looked lost offensively. Chicago goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher was not bothered for much of the opening half. The best chance Boston got was when striker Kyah Simon had her shot in the box blocked by Julie Johnston. It forced Naeher to push the ball away from her right post but it was a fairly simple save for the USWNT keeper. Simon had two more chances in the half but again it was fairly simple saves for Naeher. It was a 1-0 lead for Chicago as the teams headed into halftime. 

More goals for Chicago in the second 45

They say history repeats itself and it proved to be true at the start of the second half. A giveaway outside of Boston's penalty area gave the ball straight to Huerta, who smashed a shot into the top corner of the net. It was a terrible mistake by the Breakers as they gave up a goal that was easily preventable.

Vanessa DiBernado had two quality passes that led to Chicago goals tonight (Photo credit : Chicago Red Stars Twitter)
Vanessa DiBernado had two quality passes that led to Chicago goals tonight. (Photo credit: Chicago Red Stars Twitter)

Things started to get out of hand when tackles began to come in harder and harder and yellow cards were handed out. It was three yellow cards in a matter of minutes in the game with two of them going to Boston.  Just when the game started to get out of hand, the Red Stars put the nail in the coffin with a third goal. 

It all started with Press's free kick just outside the box which forced a diving save from Libby Stout. The rebound then came to Huerta who passed the ball to DiBernado. Again it was the midfielder who threw a great ball into the box and it was tapped home by Short. Her touch was just enough to get it past Stout and sneak into the left post. Once again, it was another great ball by DiBernado that was finished off with the ball in the back of the net. 

"I think Vanessa’s been our most consistent player throughout the season so far," said Dames when asked about the midfielder's performance tonight.  

Just like the first half, it was a struggle for Boston when they tried to push up and test Chicago's defense. Their best chance came in the 74th minute when a free kick forced Naeher to come off her line to punch the ball clear. It's safe to say it was a relatively easy night for the former Boston keeper. 

Chicago nearly made it 4-0 when Press was sent in all alone with a great through ball. She rounded Stout but had her shot blocked away into the side netting. It was a golden opportunity for her to make an impact on the game scoring wise but she was denied by one too many touches. 

In the end, it was a comfortable 3-0 win for Chicago as they jumped back into the top spot of the NWSL table. 

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