Chicago Red Stars Defeat Washington Spirit 1-0
Cheyna Matthews (left, Washington Spirit) and Tierna Davidson (right, Chicago Red Stars) battle for the ball. Photo:

The Chicago Red Stars extended their winning streak to five with a 1-0 defeat of the Washington Spirit in front of a sold out crowd in the nation’s capital.

Red Stars attack early and often

In the 6th minute, Arin Wright, who was also playing in her 100th NWSL match, received the ball in a dangerous area inside the Spirit's box, but rookie Samantha Staab came sliding in to block her chance.

Two minutes later, Chicago right back Casey Short delivered a perfect through ball to the current Golden Boot award leader Samantha Kerr. However, from a difficult angle, Kerr placed her shot wide. Nevertheless, it was an early warning from the Red Stars about their attacking abilities.

Japanese interational Yuki Nagasato set up rookie and World Cup champion Tierna Davidson for a shot on goal in the 20th minute. She slipped a ball to Davidson on the left side of the box, but the former Stanford Cardinal's shot went straight into the arms of Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe.

Six minutes later, Kerr played the ball to Wright inside the box, but Bledsoe made a kick save to deny her. The ball bounced out to captain Julie Ertz, who was able to put some spin on her shot but missed narrowly to the left.

Jamaican international Cheyna Matthews created a somewhat lethal shot for the home team in the 36th minute, but it was cleared away.

Fifth goal for fifth straight win

The Spirit had another scoring opportunity at the hour mark. Halftime substitute Arielle Ship slid the ball to the Bronze Ball winner at the World Cup Rose Lavelle. Lavelle then cut in a cross at the end line, but her USWNT teammate Alyssa Naeher made an acrobatic save to keep the match scoreless.

Short assisted Nagasato's goal in the 65th minute. She crossed the ball into the box, and Nagasato put her body on the line to head the ball into the goal. She had only one defender marking her and was able to win the aerial duel.

In the 69th minute, Lavelle took the ball up the field before laying it off for Ashley Hatch on the side of the box. However, Hatch's shot was pushed away by Naeher.

Ertz had a fantastic opportunity to double her side's lead in the 83rd minute. The Spirit had their attacking opportunity cleared away by a Chicago defender. Midfielder Danielle Colaprico started a counterattack. She played the ball out wide to Nagasato who laid it for Ertz near the center of the field. Then, Ertz slid the ball to Kerr, and Kerr threaded a pass to play Savannah McCaskill through on goal. With only one defender on her, she crossed the ball to a wide-opened Ertz, who had made a run forward. Unfortunately for Ertz, she got too much of her boot underneath the ball and sent it high and wide.

The Chicago Red Stars (8-5-2) now turn their attention to their upcoming midweek fixture against Sky Blue FC. The Washington Spirit (6-5-2), meanwhile, face a tough trip to Oregon to take on the Portland Thorns FC.