Editor’s note: Matt J. Wood, a photographer based in Chicago, was on hand for the Chicago Red Stars’ quarterfinal win over Gotham FC on Sunday. What follows are his thoughts and images from the game.
Sunshine and smiles reigned in Chicago for the NWSL quarterfinals.
Mallory Pugh’s decisive second-half strike earned the Red Stars a spot in the semifinals with a 1-0 win over Gotham FC.
After a tense first half, Pugh sent SeatGeek Stadium into elation — and relief — in the 60th minute when she ran onto a pass from Sarah Woldmoe and curled the ball toward the far post and past Gotham goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan.
Before the game, Red Stars forward Kealia Watt was asked, “How nice is it to be playing this game at home?”
“It’s huge,” Watt said, and the fans did not disappoint, with 7,027 showing up to watch Chicago advance in the NWSL playoffs.
I was lucky enough to catch the action with my camera from the sidelines. Below are my favorite shots from a beautiful day.