FENTON, Mo. – St. Louis Scott Gallagher played host to the first National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) match in Soccer Park history last Saturday, as the Chicago Red Stars and FC Kansas City took the field in front of a crowd exceeding 2,500 fans.
The two sides battled to a 1-1 draw after each club tallied a goal in the second half.
St. Louis native and SLSG alumnus Alyssa Mautz put the Red Stars on the boar
Mautz received the ball in the center of the penalty area, turned, and steered a shot inside the near post to beat Kansas City goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart.
The 1-0 Chicago lead would not stand up, however, as KC responded with a goal of their own in the final 10 minutes of regulation.
Some good build-up play from Kansas City led to the equalizer in the 83 minute. Jen Buczkowski beat her defender to the end line and sent a low cross across the face of goal, where Melissa Henderson redirected the ball into the Red Stars’ net from close range.
Mautz, Lori Chalupny, and Becky Sauerbrunn are all St. Louis natives, and each player played a majority of the 90 minutes on Saturday in front of their hometown fans. The trio of St. Louisans were some of the most sought-after players at the on-field autograph session after the game.
The match served as a preseason friendly for the clubs, as they gear up for the start of the NWSL regular season beginning April 12.
FC Kansas City begins the season April 12 against Sky Blue FC, while the Chicago Red Stars kick off their 2014 campaign April 19 against the Western New York Flash.