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WPSL Wrapup: Week 1

The opening week in the North saw plenty of action as three expansion teams took the field.

May 25, 2018 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - Fire 98 SC forward, Taylor Bare (27) takes a shot on goal during the Fire 98 SC vs Dakota Fusion FC match at Sea Foam Stadium. 

(Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)
May 25, 2018 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - Fire 98 SC forward, Taylor Bare (27) takes a shot on goal during the Fire 98 SC vs Dakota Fusion FC match at Sea Foam Stadium. (Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)

Friday:

Fire SC 98 vs Dakota Fusion FC

Both teams came into Friday night playing their first game of their first season and wanting to start it off right. The Fusion started the match fast as Katie Moller scored in the 2nd minute to make it 0-1 Fusion. Fire 98 was able to manage a chance in the 8th minute but the shot would go high above the crossbar but immediately following that Dakota Fusion’s #20 Kacee Bailey would come off the field due to an injury. The injury took the Fusion down to just 14 players (of 20 allowed) for the match, which severely hampered the options as the WPSL allows for unlimited subs with re-entry.

The remainder of the half would be fairly even and it took until the 42nd minute for Fire 98 to score when Mariah Haberle put in the team’s first ever goal to even the match. In the second half it seemed to be all Fire 98, as their 20 woman roster and unlimited subs with re-entry helped with depth compared to the injury shortened Fusion. Even with controlling the half it wasn't until the 73rd minute when #27 Taylor Bare scored what would be the game winner. Three minutes later #6 Makenzie Langdok scored again to give Fire 98 a 3-1 lead. Both teams played the last 14 minutes hard and in the 89th minute #21 Allie Zueger was issued a yellow card, but in the end Dakota Fusion would fall 3-1 to Fire SC 98.

Saturday:

Minnesota TwinStars FC vs Dakota Fusion FC

For the second evening in a row, and with less than 24 hours rest, Dakota Fusion faced a team on it’s season debut. TwinStars had failed to win a single game in last year’s WPSL but they controlled possession for much of the first half, turning the action into Dragons attack against Fusion defence in continuing 95 degree heat. In the end, the tie was broken by #4 Abby Soderhelm’s lofted chip into the top corner from the edge of the box in the 42nd minute. The endless pressure continued to flow down the wings through to full time but Fusion held out for a narrow defeat which they may even consider a moral victory. TwinStars, on the other hand, end the weekend with an opening victory and momentum.

Fire SC 98 vs Milwaukee Torrent

With Fire 98 coming off a win in their first ever match they were looking to make it two in a row with another expansion team, Milwaukee Torrent coming to town. Torrent would start the match out with Mariah Downs scoring the first half’s only goal. In the second half #30 McKenna Buisman would score to tie it at 1 and later #33 Annie Williams scored to make it 2-1 Fire 98. The lead wouldn't last forever as #24 Haley Johnson scored to even the match up at 2 a piece. That score would stay as it was and both teams walked out with just a single point.

2018 WPSL Standings

Team Record Points
Team Record Points
Fire 98 SC 1-0-1 4
Minnesota TwinStars FC 1-1-0 3
Milwaukee Torrent 0-1-0 1
Chicago City SC 0-0-0 0
Chicago Red Stars Reserves 0-0-0 0
Dakota Fusion FC 0-2-0 0

Week 2 Schedule*:

Friday:

Chicago Red Stars Reserves vs Dakota Fusion FC

Fusion’s mammoth road trip (there is only one home game in the first six matches) continues in Oak Brook, Illinois. Chicago Red Stars Reserves could be a formidable opponent, as the B team of the professional NWSL franchise, but that same relationship could also undermine CRSR. Fusion will hopefully make their trip with a full complement of players - and the hard working attitude of the players in the first weekend offers a glimmer of hope. Thankfully the forecast is also 25 degrees cooler.

Saturday:

Chicago City SC vs Minnesota TwinStars FC

Chicago City will come into this game playing their first ever WPSL contest against a TwinStars team coming off their first win since 2016. Look for both teams to do everything they can to gain 3 points to try and set pace in the conference.

Sunday:

Chicago Red Stars Reserves vs Minnesota TwinStars FC

Red Stars Reserves will come into this game as heavy favorites on multiple levels. They will have day of rest compared to TwinStars who just played the previous night as well as having an overall record of 24-2-4 Red Stars Reserves are the team to beat in the conference. TwinStars will need to put in 110% effort to take home even just a single point versus one of the best teams in all WPSL.

Chicago City SC vs Dakota Fusion FC

With a much welcome day off in between games, Fusion will be hungry for a road win as they make the journey into the urban core of Chicago for a matchup with City at Loyola’s Hoyne Field.

*For exact kickoff times, locations, and tickets, visit the websites of the home club, which can be found by clicking the bolded team.