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Red Stars set NWSL attendance record but fall to Bay FC 2-1 at Wrigley Field

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Bay FC got goals from Kiki Pickett and Joelle Anderson to beat the Chicago Red Stars 2-1 in front of a National Women’s Soccer League single-game record of 35,038 fans at Wrigley Field on Saturday night.

Penelope Hocking volleyed in a deflected cross for her fourth goal of the season three minutes into stoppage time for Chicago (5-6-1).

Bay FC (4-8-0) took the lead in the 25th minute when a pass was deflected to Pickett at the top of the box and she sent a long shot into the right corner.

Anderson blocked a Red Stars clearance in the box that redirected into the goal in the 79th minute and celebrated by mimicking a home run swing.

It was the first NWSL match at the home of the Chicago Cubs, and the grounds crew had to cover much of the infield and foul territory with grass. Maybelle Blair, a pitcher in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, delivered the match ball to mark the occasion.

The Red Stars and Cubs have an ownership connection. Red Stars owner Laura Ricketts is a member of the Ricketts family, which has controlled the Cubs since 2009.

The previous attendance record was 34,130, set by the Seattle Reign in October 2023 for Megan Rapinoe’s final regular-season home match.

GOTHAM 2, ANGEL CITY 1

Crystal Dunn and Rose Lavelle scored to help Gotham FC extend its unbeaten streak to seven matches with a 2-1 win over Angel City at Red Bull Arena.

Dunn put Gotham (6-2-3) in front in the 26th minute, firing a shot just out of the reach of goalkeeper DiDi Haracic that slid into the lower left corner. Yazmeen Ryan assisted.

Angel City (3-6-2) equalized in the 51st minute on a play that started with Sydney Leroux trying to head in Clarisse Le Bihan’s cross. Leroux and her defender missed the ball, which allowed the cross to bounce once before skipping into the goal.

Ten minutes later, Lavelle combined with Delanie Sheehan inside the box and finished at the near post. Gotham’s Ann-Katrin Berger made five saves.

SPIRIT 1, ROYALS 0

Kate Wiesner scored her first professional goal to give the Washington Spirit a 1-0 win against the Utah Royals at America First Field.

Fresh off her first call-up to the U.S. women’s national team as a training player, the rookie scored in the 26th minute to lift the Spirit (9-3-0) to their fourth straight win. After her first shot was blocked at the top of the box, the seventh pick in this year’s draft followed with a blast into the lower left corner.

Paige Monaghan hit the post in the 34th minute but the last-place Royals (1-10-1) lost their sixth in a row. Utah goalkeeper Mandy Haught made six saves.

THORNS 1, COURAGE 0

Sophia Smith scored her league-leading ninth goal on a penalty kick in the 79th minute and the Portland Thorns beat the North Carolina Courage 1-0 in front of more than 21,000 fans at Providence Park.

The Thorns were awarded a penalty after a video review determined that Hina Sugita was stepped on in the box. Smith buried the kick into the left corner.

Ryan Williams received her second yellow card on the play, forcing the Courage to play with 10 for the rest of the game.

The Thorns (7-4-1) have now scored eight goals in the final 15 minutes of league games and 15 goals in the second half.

The Courage (5-7-0) have lost all seven matches they’ve played on the road.

Smith will have to sit for a game, as she received a second yellow card from the bench for delaying the game just before the final whistle.

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AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

By SUSIE RANTZ
Associated Press

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