Bay FC extend Chicago Red Stars' losing streak in record NWSL game

The win helped Bay FC narrow the gap to the playoff zone
Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Red Stars and Bay FC faced off in a recovery showdown, both teams coming off negative streaks, but the energy at Wrigley Field was different. With 35,038 fans in attendance, the match broke the NWSL attendance record.

In a memorable day, the teams needed more than ever to secure a positive result, and that outcome favored the visitors. Bay FC triumphed in a magical night for women's soccer, winning 2-1 and handing Red Stars their third consecutive defeat in front of their home crowd.

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The San Francisco team opened the scoring at the 25-minute mark with Pickett netting her first professional goal. The defender struck a beautiful placed shot from the edge of the box, leaving Naeher with no chance as the ball found the net. The visitors dominated almost the entire game but missed adding a second goal. Nearly Racheal Kundananji extended the lead, as she received a pass behind the defense, dribbled past the goalkeeper, and with an open goal, shot wide.

However, Kundananji contributed to a good triangular play on the right, delivering the final pass to Bailey, who entered the box and crossed from the byline. The pass wasn't perfect as Chardonnay Curran managed to deflect it but failed to clear the danger. Joelle Anderson was lurking, contested the ball, and it ended up in the back of the net, increasing the lead to 2-0. Red Stars managed to narrow the gap only in stoppage time. The team, which had struggled to be effective in attack and even hit the post once, capitalized on a long ball into the area and, somewhat fortunately, found Shea Groom's header deflected into Penelope Hocking's path, who scored the consolation goal.

Bay FC excelled in all aspects, with 10 different players creating at least one chance in the match, including Anderson, who finished with five chances created and was the player of the match. Bay FC also set a league record for corner kicks with 16. The victory is crucial for boosting the team's morale, who were not the favorites but came out on top and reduced the gap to the playoffs. Bay FC sits in 10th place with 12 points, just three behind North Carolina Courage, the last team in the playoff spots, who lost in this round.