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Mallory Pugh is reflecting on the Chicago Red Stars’ NWSL Championship loss, writing via Instagram post, “It wasn’t the way we wanted to end the season but I am so thankful God blessed me with this group.”

Chicago made an unlikely playoff run after a streaky season, thanks in large part to Pugh’s banner year. An NWL MVP nominee, Pugh mobilized the Red Stars’ attack, notching five goals, including one in the team’s quarterfinal match, and four assists.

“If I’m being completely honest, at the beginning of the year I didn’t know if I was going to play the game I loved again,” wrote Pugh, “There were highs and lows this group endured and that built amazing friendships, which I’m forever grateful for.”

Pugh credits her faith for getting her through the rollercoaster season, filled with “doubts, questions, and injuries.”

The 23-year-old had a challenging playoff run, first missing Chicago’s semifinal game against the Portland Thorns due to COVID-19 protocols. Then, the star striker exited the club’s championship match against Washington early after picking up a knock just before halftime.

“And at the end of it all, I can say His plan is always good,” concludes Pugh.