Chicago Red Stars Defeat Orlando Pride 3-2
Samantha Kerr scored a hat trick for the Chicago Red Stars. Photo:

The Chicago Red Stars defeated the Orlando Pride 3-2 to claim three points on the road.

Kerr is back

In her first match back with the Chicago Red Stars after competing at the World Cup, Samantha Kerr wasted no time getting back to her scoring ways. In the 7th minute, she intercepted a poor back pass by an Orlando defender, took a few touches to get around Haley Kopmeyer, and hammered the ball home.

In the 10th minute, the Pride would have equalized if Emily Boyd hadn’t made an unbelievable reaction save denying Carson Pickett. Brazilian legend Marta, also playing in her first match back after the World Cup, drove a ball into the box and found Pickett whose shot was deflected over the bar by Boyd.

The Pride did temporarily equalize in the 22nd minute. Boyd received a back pass but took a poor touch and allowed Chioma Ubogagu to get to the ball and place it into the net.

In the 31st minute, Casey Short nutmegged Toni Pressley and dribbled into the box before taking a low shot that Kopmeyer dove to the ground to deflect.

In the 42nd minute, Marta chipped in a free kick near the penalty spot looking to connect with Rachel Hill, but the timing was off.

Just before halftime, Kerr gave her team the lead again and scored her second goal of the match. Kopmeyer took a goal kick which was won in the air by Yuki Nagasato. Nagasato headed it forward to Kerr. Kerr, who was able to get ahead of her defender, then controlled the ball with her chest, let it bounce once, and drilled it into the goal.

Kerr's hat trick helped the Red Stars earn three points. Photo:
Kerr's hat trick helped the Red Stars earn three points. Photo:

Kerr claims hat trick

Kerr did get her hat trick in the second half but Kopmeyer made a fantastic save to deny her in the 50th minute. Pressley mishit a back pass to her goalkeeper, and Kerr pounced on the loose ball but hit it right at Kopmeyer.

Five minutes later, Kerr scored her third goal. The Pride lost possession of the ball, and Kerr found herself running at four defenders before accurately placing the ball in the bottom left corner of the goal.

In the 72nd minute, the lethal Nagasato-Kerr connection produced a header on target by Kerr, but it was cleared off the line by Pickett.

In the 77th minute, Kopmeyer made a diving save on a curling shot by Danielle Colaprico.

A minute later, Brazilian midfielder Camila was fouled in the box, and Marta closed the Pride's deficit to one on the resulting penalty kick.

The Pride continued to push for an equalizer until the last second. However, in the last minute of stoppage time, Joanna Boyles, the last Orlando defender, lost the ball to Kerr, and Kerr made an attempt to chip Kopmeyer from way out.

The Orlando Pride (1-7-2) host the Washington Spirit next Saturday, and the Chicago Red Stars (3-4-2) host Sky Blue FC on the same day.