Chicago

Red Stars lose NWSL championship in extra time

Chicago
USA Today

It wasn't meant to be. After taking a 1-0 lead before halftime, the Chicago Red Stars' championship hopes slipped away in extra time.

Washington Spirit's Kelley O'Hara scored a 97th-minute winner in the first period of extra time to seal a comeback win over the Red Stars, netting the club its first NWSL Championship title in a 2-1 victory.

The Red Stars' lone goal came from Rachel Hill in the fifth minute of stoppage time of the first half.

Andi Sullivan scored the game-tying goal from the penalty spot after a 67th-minute penalty when Tierna Davidson fouled Tara McKeown.

Despite trailing in the second period of extra time, the Red Stars didn't show any signs of quit. In the final minutes of the game, the Red Stars generated a few chances, set pieces and shots on goal. None found the back of the net to tie the game.

It's also the third consecutive season the Red Stars reached a championship game.

In 2019, the Red Stars lost the NWSL championship 4-0 to the North Carolina Courage. In 2020, the Red Stars lost to the Houston Dynamo in the NWSL Challenge Cup.

The Challenge Cup effectively replaced the NWSL title in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The NWSL decided to keep the Challenge Cup as an annual league cup competition and the Portland Thorns won in 2021.