All Scores

Red Stars’ Danny Colaprico Talks Semifinal Match With Sky Blue FC

HERRIMAN, UT – JULY 12: Danielle Colaprico #24 of Chicago Red Stars warms up during a game between Utah Royals FC and Chicago Red Stars at Zions Bank Stadium on July 12, 2020 in Herriman, Utah. (Photo by Bryan Byerly/ISI Photos/Getty Images).

Danny Colaprico is a midfielder for the Chicago Red Stars. She spoke to Just Women’s Sports ahead of the Red Stars semifinal clash with Sky Blue FC tonight about what the team needs to do to make it to the Challenge Cup finals. 

You guys upset OL Reign in the quarterfinals on penalties. How confident were you heading into PKs?

We were super confident. We worked on them the day before the game, and everyone nailed their PK. I feel like the players that stepped up, those are the ones that felt pretty confident about taking a penalty in the moment. And right before we went out our coach Rory just looked at us and was like, “Well, you guys, you have the best keeper in the world. All you have to do is put your shots away and we’ll win this.” And that gave us all more confidence, knowing that we have Alyssa in the goal. We all looked at each other and we’re like, “Oh yeah, we got this.”

Before going into PKs, there were a couple early shots on both sides. What were your thoughts about the energy and level of play throughout the match?

Going into the game, we knew that OL Reign would be a tough team to play. And I feel like as the game wore, everyone was getting really tired. It didn’t really sink in that we would go into penalty kicks until the very end of the game. Not once earlier during the game was I like, “Oh, this is definitely going to penalty kicks.” I felt pretty confident about where our team was at and I thought we were moving the ball really well. We created opportunities. It was just a matter of putting one in the back of the net. But then as the game wore on and it got into the 80th minute, I was, “Okay, this could probably go to PKs.” But again, I was still confident we would end up on top.

What’s nuts is that almost every other game went into penalty kicks as well.

Yeah, I know. We thought about that after. We were like, “Wow! Three of the quarter finals went into penalty kicks.” That can be exciting, but at the same time, each game was really unique.

You hinted at this, but do you think that fatigue has been and is going to continue to be a factor throughout the rest of the tournament? 

Yeah. With how this tournament is set up, I feel like fatigue has been a factor throughout. I mean, we had a short preparation. Sometimes there’s three games in a week. And we had a quick turnaround between the quarterfinal and now the semifinal. Fatigue is going to be a factor.

But with that being said, I feel like both sides are going to be fatigued. So the game will be determined on what team can last the longest on the field. And I feel like that’s kind of where the grittiness and the heart and the drive behind your team really comes into play in the games.

How has the team been preparing for Sky Blue FC?

It’s been a quick turnaround, so we don’t have that much time to prepare, but I feel like our main focus is going over some different ways we can put the ball back in the back of the net. I feel like we’ve harped on that a lot since we’ve been here. With such a short pre-season, we didn’t really get a chance to emphasize or put work into our frontline and our front players. So it’s been hard for us to find the back of the net, but we’ve been watching a lot of film, going over the different movements of each player, and I feel like we feel pretty confident that as soon as we score one goal, the goals are going to just keep coming.

Outside of putting the ball in the back of the net, what would you say is the team’s biggest focus mentally heading into the game? 

I’d say the biggest thing that we want to focus on as a team is moving the ball and playing pretty soccer. But at the same time, in this league, a lot of games are won just by battling and grinding out the game. It’s grittiness and fight and all those other intangible things. So a big emphasis on this game for us is combining those two and bringing them together, finding the right times to play soccer, but also at the same time, realizing that to win a game, you don’t always have to play pretty. I hate to say that, but sometimes it really is just grinding up games and finding ways to score. We have to bring that energy against Sky Blue.

Caitlin Clark dunks on Michael Che in surprise SNL appearance

(Julia Hansen/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK)

Caitlin Clark made a surprise appearance on “Saturday Night Live” over the weekend, which quickly went viral.

The Iowa star showed up on the show’s Weekend Update segment to playfully call out Michael Che’s history of making jabs at women’s sports.

It started when Che joked that Iowa should replace Clark’s retired No. 22 “with an apron.” 

When Clark entered, Che said that he was a fan. But Clark wasn’t convinced – especially not when co-host Colin Jost brought the receipts of Che’s jabs.

“Really, Michael? Because I heard that little apron joke you did,” she said, before making him read some jokes of her own in retaliation. Clark finished her segment by shouting out the WNBA greats that came before her. She then got in one final dig – bringing Che a signed apron as a souvenir. 

When Che promised to give it to his girlfriend, Clark delivered her last playful dig of the night.

“You don’t have a girlfriend, Michael,” she said.

Afterward, SNL castmember Bowen Yang told People that the 22-year-old and teammates Gabbie Marshall, Kate Martin and Jada Gyamfi – who joined her at Studio 8H – “were so cool.”

“She's so charming and witty,” Yang said. “They were just the most stunning, noble people.

“Athletes just have this air about them. They know they're amazing. I mean, these are people who have numeric attachments and values to their performance. That's something that comedians never have.”

Portland Thorns, in uncharted territory, start NWSL season winless

Portland has started the season winless through four games for the first time. (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)

The Portland Thorns continue to struggle to start the NWSL season, falling 2-0 to the North Carolina Courage over the weekend to remain winless through their first four games. 

It’s uncharted territory for Portland, who has never started the NWSL regular season without a win in four games before.

Following the loss, defender Becky Sauerbrunn voiced her frustrations with the start. 

“It’s hard to find a lot of encouraging things, but what I find encouraging is that people are frustrated,” she said. “People are pissed off that we’re not doing well. We care, and I think that’s really important.” 

She also added that while the team will reflect individually, “there’s going to be no finger pointing.”

“We’re going to look at ourselves and figure out what we should have done, or I should have done better,” she said. “There is a list of things that I could have done better, and I’m going to make sure I know every single thing and watch this game back.”

The Thorns currently sit at the bottom of the league table with just one point, having allowed 10 goals – tied for the worst in the league. They’ve yet to lead in a match. And as questions grow, attention turns to head coach Mike Norris. 

Norris is in his second year as head coach of the club after leading the team to a second-place finish in the regular season last year. When asked about the possibility of pressure growing after the unprecedented start, Norris said that the pressure has been there “from day one.”

“I cannot be driven by my day-to-day and the longer vision of the pressure of the job,” he said. “We’ve got a belief in how we want to play, how we operate. We’ve got to stick with the process of that. While we do it, we have to review and see what is working, what’s not working.

“I’ll be showing up for the team and being there for what they need from me as we approach getting back together as a group next week.”

Maria Sanchez reportedly requests trade from Houston Dash

Mar 23, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Dash forward Maria Sanchez (7) warms up before the match between Racing Louisville and Houston Dash at Shell Energy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Maria Sanchez, who signed one of the biggest deals in NWSL history just four months ago, has reportedly requested a trade from the Houston Dash. 

ESPN was the first to report the news, which was confirmed by multiple sources.

In a statement to ESPN, the team said: “​​Maria Sanchez is under contract, a choice she made in free agency at the end of 2023." 

In December, Sanchez signed a new three-year contract with the Dash worth $1.5 million including bonuses and an option year. At the time, it was the largest contract in NWSL history – something that was eclipsed by multiple contracts in the following months. 

The winger was a restricted free agent in the offseason, meaning that Houston could match any offer from another team and retain her rights. Should the team trade Sanchez, her contract would remain as it has been signed with the league. That limits the number of teams that could take on her contract. 

In three starts with the Dash this season, Sanchez has zero goals and an assist. The Dash are 1-2-1 through four games and have allowed a league-worst 10 goals.

The team hired a new coach, Fran Alonso, in December. Earlier this year, former goalkeeper coach Matt Lampson was fired for violating the league’s Coach Code of Conduct and Anti-Fraternization policy. 

Both the NWSL trade window and transfer window close at midnight ET on Friday.

Canada beats U.S. Hockey 6-5 in thrilling World Championship win

UTICA, NEW YORK - APRIL 14: Team Canada raises the Championship Trophy after winning The Gold by defeating The United States in OT during the 2024 IIHF Women's World Championship Gold Medal game at Adirondack Bank Center on April 14, 2024 in Utica, New York. (Photo by Troy Parla/Getty Images)

Canada got its revenge on Sunday, winning the 2024 IIHF Women’s World Championship and taking down the U.S. in a 6-5 overtime classic.

Marie-Philip Poulin, a longtime star for Canada, got her first two goals of the tournament, while Danielle Serdachny had the game-winner. 

"I hate to say you're not trying to rely on it, expect it, but I know I've grown to expect it," Canada coach Troy Ryan said of Philip-Poulin. "Tonight was just a whole other level. I could see in her eyes every time we called her name that she was ready to go. It's just special."

The win came after Canada lost 1-0 to the U.S. in the group stage of the tournament. On Sunday, the two teams met for the 22nd time in 23 tournaments in the gold medal game – and the action between the two teams delivered. 

Among those scoring for the U.S. were Megan Keller, Alex Carpenter, Hilary Knight, Laila Edwards and Caroline Harvey. Julia Gosling, Emily Clark and Erin Ambrose had the other three goals for Canada, giving them their 13th World title after falling to the U.S. in last year’s title game in Toronto. 

This year’s game was held in New York, and it was the second-highest scoring final between the two teams. The U.S. won a world championship 7-5 in 2015. 

"Oh man, that feels good to win it on U.S. soil," Canada goalie Ann-Renee Desbiens said after the game. "We owed it to them and owed it to ourselves to win that one."

Canada also denied Knight a record 10th World Championship win, although she did become the most decorated player in women’s world championship history with 14 medals. After the game, Poulin gave Knight a hug on the ice. 

"We just said 'that was unbelievable,'" Poulin said.

U.S. coach John Wroblewski echoed the sentiment that it was an outstanding game after being asked about ending the game on a power-play after leaving too many players on the ice. 

"Instead of talking about the isolated events of tonight's game, I think that normally that's an interesting storyline,” he said. “But I think the entity of an amazing 6-5 game is an amazing hockey game that took place."

Start your morning off right with Just Women’s Sports’ free, 5x-a-week newsletter.