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BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. — Utah’s newest professional soccer franchise saw its four-match road trip end with a thud Saturday evening.
Katie Naughton and Vanessa DiBernardo each scored a goal in the second half as the Chicago Red Stars took a 2-0 win over Utah Royals FC at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois.
Naughton headed home the opening goal to give the Red Stars (4-3-7) a 1-0 lead in the 62nd minute. Danielle Colaprico, who had the game winner in Chicago’s 1-0 win in Utah’s first-ever home match, sent in a long free kick that found center back Naughton for the early advantage past goalkeeper Abby Smith.
DiBernardo, who replaced former BYU standout Michele Vasconcelos in the second half, doubled the advantage about seven minutes later by redirecting Sam Kerr’s pass at the top of the box into the back of the net for the 2-0 lead.
Kerr nearly added a goal on a header with 10 minutes left, but the U.S. international’s goal was disallowed for offsides.
Utah (4-3-5) held off for 51 percent of possession in the first half, despite Chicago out-shooting the visiting Royals 6-5 in a tight opening 45 minutes.
Katrina Gorry had perhaps the best chance of the first half for Utah, but her right-footed shot from distance was saved by goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher.
But the Red Stars out-shot the visitors 10-5 in the second half, running rampant over the NWSL expansion team’s defense, snapping Utah’s two-match road win streak with the shutout.
Utah reaches the halfway mark of the regular season in sixth place with 17 points. The Royals will also add U.S. striker Christen Press and former Chicago center back Samantha Johnson, who were at Rio Tinto Stadium for Real Salt Lake’s home match against San Jose.
Utah hosts Seattle Reign FC at 8 p.m. MT Wednesday. Seven of the club’s final 12 matches will be played at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy.