SANDY, Utah – (Friday, May 3, 2019) – Utah Royals FC (3-0-0, 9 points) needed a late goal from FW Amy Rodriguez, but kept the perfect record alive to start the 2019 season with a 1-0 win over the Chicago Red Stars on Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Rodriguez scored her first goal of the season in the 84th minute on an assist from MF Gunny Jónsdóttir and GK Nicole Barnhart made three saves to start the season with three consecutive shutouts as Utah earned its third straight 1-0 win.
In a scoreless first half, Utah’s nearest miss came in the ninth minute when DF Michelle Maemone curled a shot from the edge of the 18, but her effort from the left side thumped off the crossbar. Barnhart made two saves in the half, one on a Sam Kerr breakaway that saw Barnhart charge off her line to make the stop. In the 42nd minute, Chicago forward Katie Johnson was ejected after a collision with MF Vero Boquete, putting URFC up a player for the remainder of the match.
In the 82nd minute, FW Erika Tymrak earned a foul just outside the Chicago penalty area. Boquete stepped over the 19-yard free kick, but put her shot into the crossbar and the match remained scoreless into the waning moments. Then in the 84th minute, Tymrak led Jónsdóttir up the right side. Jónsdóttir then sent a sliding cross into the box where Rodriguez cut in front of her defender and slotted her first-time shot inside the far post for the 1-0 lead. Royals FC held on for the final minutes of the match, holding off a late charge from Chicago in search of the equalizer.
UP NEXT: URFC will remain at home to host the Houston Dash on Saturday, May 11 at Rio Tinto Stadium. Kickoff from Sandy is scheduled for 1:30p MT.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
URFC: Amy Rodriguez (Gunny Jónsdóttir) 84th minute: Erika Tymrak led Gunny Jónsdóttir up the right side and Jónsdóttir sent a sliding cross into the box. Amy Rodriguez darted in front of her defender and hit a shot inside the far post for a 1-0 lead.
- The match marked the first match without Becky Sauerbrunn, Christen Press and Kelley O’Hara due to international duty. On Thursday the trio were named to the USA’s 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup roster for the upcoming tournament.
- URFC signed three players as National Team Replacements, adding Meghan Cox, Raisa Strom-Okimoto and Alex Kimball to the roster.
- Royals FC now has nine points through the first three matches. In the club’s inaugural season in 2018, the club didn’t earn its ninth point until the eighth match of the season. At that point the team was 2-1-5 (11 points).
Match: Utah Royals FC vs. Chicago Red Stars
Date: May 3, 2019
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
Weather: Sunny and 80 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Utah Royals FC 0 1 1
Chicago Red Stars 0 0 0
UTA: Amy Rodriguez (Gunny Jónsdottir) 84’
Utah Royals FC (4-4-2): Nicole Barnhart; Katie Bowen, Rachel Corsie, Sam Johnson, Michelle Maemone (Meghan Cox 94+’); Desiree Scott, Gunny Jónsdóttir, Vero Boquete, Lo’eau LaBonta (Mandy Laddish 62’); Amy Rodriguez, Katie Stengel (Erika Tymrak 75’).
Subs not used: Abby Smith, Gaby Vincent, Raisa Strom-Okimoto, Alex Kimball
Chicago Red Stars: (4-3-3): Emily Boyd; Casey Short, Katie Naughton (Brooke Elby 87’), Sarah Gorden, Arin Wright; Alyssa Mautz (Michele Vasconcelos 67’), Vanessa Di Bernardo (Nikki Stanton 64’), Danielle Colaprico; Sam Kerr, Yuki Nagasato, Katie Johnson.
Subs not used: Maria Sanchez, Zoey Goralski, Kayla Sharples, Alison Jahansouz
Stats Summary: UTA / CHI
Shots: 14 / 8
Shots on Goal: 4 / 3
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 7 / 4
Fouls: 6 / 12
Offside: 4 / 3
CHI – Katie Johnson (ejection) 42’
CHI – Nikki Stanton (caution) 66’
UTA – Michelle Maemone (caution) 78’
CHI – Sam Kerr (caution) 80’
Referee: Farhad Dadkho
Assistant Referees: Joshua Haimes, Melissa Gonzalez
4th Official: German Hortal