CHICAGO – One thing that will be common in 2021 for all sports is the phrase “the first time since.”
Many teams are now returning to their home venues, welcoming back fans, or achieving their first results since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Chicago Red Stars had two of those on Saturday afternoon, starting first with their play on the field.
In a rematch of the club’s 2019 NWSL Championship Game, Rachel Hill’s goal in the 29th minute was enough for the Red Stars to knock off the North Carolina Courage 1-0 at SeatGeek Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
It’s the club’s first home win in a regular season game since September 28, 2019 when they defeated Utah Royals FC 2-1 in Bridgeview. The team did have a win in the NWSL Semifinal in 2019 & one in the Fall Series in 2020.
The victory gives Rory Dames’ team seven points on the season, which is tied for fourth in the league standings.
But another major moment occured in the 71st minute of the game, and it came on a long-awaited substitution for the club.
Alyssa Mautz entered an NWSL game for the first time since May 3, 2019 to help finish out the victory. It came after she suffered two ACL tears that caused her to miss the majority of the 2019 season and then the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup, fall series.
Mautz is one ofthe longest tenured players in the history of the Red Stars franchise after joining the club in 2013 after one season with Sky Blue FC. She’s played in 127 NWSL matches – all but five in Chicago – with 17 goals and eight assists.
Her return & the Red Stars win are part of WGN News Now’s “The Weekend’s Best” from the world of sports, including local highlights from the Cubs & White Sox along with the USMNT and the continued dominance of Simone Biles in the sport of gymnastics.
Watch more in the video above.