Red Stars Fall Before Record Crowd at Wrigley


Photo: Leslie Smith

(Editor’s Note:  This is an article from June 9th, 2024 about the Chicago Red Stars vs. Bay FC at Wrigley Field in Chicago originally on Prost Amerika which will now be incorporated into Prost International.)
Chicago Red Stars 1-2 Bay FC
CHICAGO, IL-The Friendly Confines was a place where history was made with the largest crowd in attendance that was announced as 35,038 at Wrigley Field. It broke the previous mark held by Seattle FC back on October 15th, 2023, of 34,130 which had the last regular season match with Megan Rapinoe.
The record attendance also bypassed the Red Stars previous high of 17, 338 by nearly double dating back to July of 2019 right after the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
As for the match, Bay FC felt more at home in the confines and held off the Red Stars 2-1 on Saturday night,
Kiki Pickett and Joelle Anderson scored both goals for Bay FC (4-8-0, 12 points) and Penelope Hocking for Chicago (5-6-1, 16 points) netted a late goal for the one-goal difference.
“Our plan was to put them under pressure,” Bay FC Coach Albertin Montoya said. “Let’s make it very difficult for them to play. and obviously it was a smaller field. If we pressed them high, it would make it difficult to play. We also lost our home opener, because of the energy. We thought the same thing could happen her. You also get tired mentally, For Chicago, they’re an outstanding team and a well-coached team. They also find ways to stay in games. All week, we had the energy, mentality was there.”
For the side of the Red Stars, playing in a venue like Wrigley Field brought on a different type of pressure that the team wasn’t used to. But Bay FC seemed to have the advantage under the circumstances.
“Obviously, (Bay FC) had nothing to lose,” Chicago Red Stars coach Lorne Donaldson said. “Most people would say they were playing with house money. It would relax you under pressure. Everybody knows that there was a pressure cooker for this game. Sometimes the pressure drops your energy level. We have to deal with that. It’s different in the moment, it’s hard to deal with that with the younger players. Some of the veteran players can deal with it.”
Chicago hasn’t played up to the level of competition in its recent matches and need something different for the near future.
“We can’t play the same way,” Donaldson said. “We have to change our energy level and some of the things that we do. We have to be ready for it and come out stronger.”
Pickett opened the scoring for Bay FC in the 25th minute. The Red Stars had a problem trying to clear the ball out of its penalty area. Pickett got into a spot and redirected the ball into the Red Stars goal for the 1-0 lead.
Anderson scored the second Bay FC in the 79th minute of play with a kick from near the top of the box that extended the lead out to two goals.
The Red Stars started to push higher in the remaining minutes of the match and cut the lead to within a goal. Hocking scored on a volley-kick in the 93rd minute. Chicago tried to attack further in the last couple minutes of extra time and couldn’t get another good shot on goal.
The Red Stars will start a 3-game road trip with a match in Kansas City, Friday, at 7 p.m. CT, while Bay FC will next host the Utah Royals on Sunday, June 16th.
(Editor’s note:   For more of Leslie Smith’s photos, please click on the link to her gallery.) 

Photo: Leslie Smith

BAY-Kiki Pickett (unassisted) 25
BAY-Joelle Anderson (unassisted) 79
CHI-Penelope Hocking (Chardonnay Curren) 93
CHI-Taylor Malham (caution, hard foul) 17
CHICAGO RED STARS: #1-Naeher, #41-Anderson, #3-Staab, #12-Kuikka (#23-Milazzo 46), #32-Malham, #40-Rocarro, #13-Nesbeth (#8-Joseph 84), #5-Bianchi (#24-Bike 46), #9-Swanson, #55-Hocking, #34-Schlegel (#10-Groom 66).
Subs not used: #19-Wood, #20-Franklin, #28-Rall, #11-Curran, #15-Griffith.
BAY CITY FC:  #0-Rowland, #3-Dydasco, #4-Menges, #20-Malonson (#2-King 84), #27-Sharples, #23-Pickett, #18-Anderson, #12-Boaden (#15-Conti 90), #9-Kundananji, #8-Oshoala (#19-Bailey 61), #21-Hill (#11-Camberos 61).
Subs not used: #5-Beattle, #7-Princess, #10-Castelianos, #16-Brewster, #14-Proulx.
Referee: Alexandra Billitier
Assistant Referees: Salma Perez and Ethan Beige
Fourth Official: Melinda Homa
VAR: Greg Dopka
AVAR:  Tom Felice
Weather:  Cloudy and 60º
Attendance: 35,038

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