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Red Stars’ Mallory Pugh makes case for NWSL goal of the year

(Daniel Bartel/USA TODAY Sports)

The Chicago Red Stars took down league-leading Kansas City on Wednesday night behind a brace from U.S. women’s national team star Mallory Pugh.

The home team got off to a quick start at Toyota Park, notching two goals within the first eight minutes of the match, one from Tatumn Milazzo and one from Pugh. Those goals would set the tone of the match, as Chicago won 4-0.

Pugh’s first tally was a scorcher. The forward took the ball all the way down the field — a full 90 yards. She outpaced defenders the entire way, nutmegging two of them before cutting past the Kansas City goalkeeper and sending the ball into the net.

The Red Stars did not score again until the 60th minute, when Pugh added to the scoresheet. The 24-year-old took the ball from midfield and jetted past several defenders before sending one home.

Amanda Kowalski then notched the fourth and final goal of the game in the 72nd minute.

The Red Stars finished with six shots on goal and eight shots overall. Kansas City managed 12 shots, but just four shots on goal.

With her two goals, Pugh now has 10 on the season, which puts her in fourth in the league. Her USWNT teammate Alex Morgan leads with 15 goals, and USWNT forward Sophia Smith and Mexico national team forward Diana Ordoñez have 11 apiece.

With the loss, the Current snapped their 13-match unbeaten streak, the second-longest in NWSL history. Kansas City still leads the league with 32 points, while Chicago moves into a tie with the Houston Dash for fourth place with 30 points.