Orland Park native Tatumn Milazzo and her teammates celebrate her goal on Aug. 27 at North Carolina. IMAGN photo

Orland Park native Tatumn Milazzo and her teammates celebrate her goal on Aug. 27 at North Carolina. IMAGN photo

Pro Soccer Report | Milazzo goal forges draw, helps keep Red Stars’ slim postseason hopes alive

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By Jeff Vorva
Staff Writer

The Chicago Red Stars’ playoff chances are sliding from slim to nearly non-existent, but Orland Park’s Tatumn Milazzo is helping to keep hope alive.

The defender from Orland Park scored her first goal of the season — the fourth of her career — in the 23rd minute. Her successful header helped forge a 1-1 tie against North Carolina on a hot afternoon Aug. 27 in Cary, North Carolina.

Temperatures were so hot that that game was delayed for more than 30 minutes after both teams were sent to their locker rooms at the 30′ mark.

With five games to go, the Red Stars (5-10-2) are in last place with 17 points in the 12-team NWSL. The OL Reign are in the sixth and final playoff spot with 24 points. There are 15 points still on the board for Chicago to grab, but it has to jump over several teams to make the cut.

What was tough to swallow about this draw was that North Carolina’s Emily Fox picked up a red card in the 21st minute and the Courage played with just 10 players the rest of the way. The team was hoping to grab three points with the 11 v. 10 advantage.

Still, it beat the unsatisfactory play of the 5-0 loss to Orlando on Aug. 20 after coming off a break.

“I don’t think anyone’s happy with how we played in Orlando and most everybody felt that we were subpar in the match, and we were certainly second-best in that match,” Red Stars coach Chris Petrucelli said. “I think we had a little bit of a cranky, frustrated team.”

The Red Stars visit Washington at 4 p.m. Sept. 3 at Audi Field.

 

Wood signed and loaned
The Chicago Red Stars signed goalkeeper Mackenzie Wood and loaned her to Stade de Reims Féminines of the French D1 Féminine league.

Wood joins the Red Stars on a three-year contract with a one-year option and joined Stade de Reims Féminines Aug. 22, with the goalkeeper’s loan ending June 30.

“I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to sign with the Chicago Red Stars and gain valuable experience with Stade de Reims,” Wood said in a news release. “I’m thankful to everyone who has helped me along my journey and am looking forward to continued growth and development.”

Wood joined Chicago as a national team replacement player earlier this season, making her professional debut and earning her first start in the Red Stars’ international friendly against the Mexican Women’s National Team April 8 at SeatGeek Stadium.

The Granger, Indiana, native played four years at Northwestern prior to joining the Red Stars. Wood played and started in 67 matches for the Wildcats, amassing a 28-30-9 record that included 19 shutouts. She earned multiple Big Ten honors between 2018 and 2022.

 

Fire II drops a wild one
The Chicago Fire II lost an offensive battle in the MLS NEXT Pro league with a 5-4 setback to the New York Red Bulls II on the road Aug. 26.

Alex Monis, Billy Hency, Andreas Ueland and Noah Egan scored for the Fire (8-8-9), which is fighting for a playoff spot.

The Fire will take a break before visiting Sporting Kansas City II at 4 p.m. Sept. 10.

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