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Pro Soccer Report: Watt a finish! Red Stars to host playoff game Sunday

WATT VS ORLANDO scaled

Kealia Watt, shown against Orlando in Bridgeview on Oct. 13, had a goal that night and a goal against Orlando on Friday night in a 1-0 victory to help the Red Stars qualify for the playoffs. Photo by Jeff Vorva

By Jeff Vorva
Correspondent

One more time.

The Chicago Red Stars will play at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview for a final game when they host New York/New Jersey Gotham at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 7, in the opening round of the NWSL playoffs.

The Red Stars finished the regular season with the fourth seed thanks to a 1-0 road victory over Orlando. Kealia Watt scored in the 55th minute to help Chicago (11-8-5) set an NWSL record for consecutive playoff appearances, with six.

“We’re proud and happy,” Watt said. “We knew that to get this spot it was in our hands. It wasn’t the prettiest of games. We had to grind through some COVID during the week. But we fought and got the three points.”

Watt also scored a goal in 1-0 home win against Orlando on Oct. 12.

Cassie Miller recorded the shutout in goal in the playoff-berth clincher.

 

Gotham Games
The Red Stars are 0-1-2 against fifth-seeded Gotham (8-5-11) this season.

The two teams tied 0-0 in Bridgeview on May 22 and 0-0 in New Jersey on Sept. 4. Gotham defeated the Stars, 2-1, in New Jersey on July 25.

The winner visits top-seeded Portland on Nov. 14 in the semifinals.

 

NWSL PLAYOFFS

FIRST ROUND
Sunday
Game 1 — NY/NJ Gotham at Chicago Red Stars, 2 p.m.
Game 2 — NC Courage at Washington, 4:30 p.m.

SEMIFINALS
Nov. 14
Game 3 — Winner Game 1 at Portland, 4:30 p.m.
Game 4 – Winner Game 2 at OL Reign, 2 p.m.

CHAMPIONSHIP
Nov. 21
Game 6 – Winners Games 3-4, 11 a.m. at Louisville

 

Iron Woman
Sarah Gordon played the full match Friday against Orlando and became the Red Stars’ first Iron Woman, a designation that goes to the player who played every minute of the regular season.

“Honestly, I’m exhausted. I don’t feel any emotion at all,” Gordon said after the game. “But it’s an honor to be able to be back there to clean some things up.”

 

House Keeping

The Chicago House won its fourth match in six game with a 2-1 road victory over New Amsterdam in a National Independent Soccer Association battle.

New Amsterdam blanked the expansion House, 4-0, in the latter’s historic opener at SeatGeek Stadium, so this victory showed revenge and progress.

Wojciech Wojcik scored in the 6th minute and Derek Huffman in the 77th for the House (5-7-2, eighth place in the 10-team league).

The House has a road game scheduled against Chattanooga on Wednesday and host the Los Angeles Force on Saturday.

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