Last Saturday the Chicago Red Stars donned their short sleeve jerseys and white shorts to hit the pitch in Lisle, look Illinois for a match against the Washington Spirit. Fans wrapped in blankets and clutching cups of hot chocolate filled the stands and cheered on the Red Stars, as the two teams faced off against each other and the blustery Chicago winds.
At the half the game was tied at 0-0, but a goal came early on in the second half by the Washington Spirit’s Tori Huster. The Red Stars were not able to convert later opportunities to a goal, and the Spirit handed the home team their first loss of the season.
While the Red Stars didn’t get a win on Saturday, the team has some true hard core supporters that didn’t let the 45 degree weather mixed with gusty winds keep them from the stands. Colorful blankets, winter coats, and Red Star emblazoned scarves and hats, dotted the bleachers. Young girls in their team uniforms jumped with excitement and a Red Stars fan group, Chicago Local 134, even brought out the trumpets and flags to cheer their way to warmth and their team to victory.
This match against the Washington Spirit was quite different from the last Red Stars game I attended. Last July, I saw the Red Stars take on the Spirit and the sun was high and bleachers were hot. The Red Stars were hot as well, and beat the Spirit 1-0. I was at the game to support the team and to present a mini pop up exhibit of The Through Her Eyes Project, an innovative multimedia project I designed to profile girls and women in developing countries who play sports and highlight the benefits they gain. As a journalist I created the project to use visual storytelling to share these stories both online and on the ground, to motivate a world of stronger women, families, communities and countries. At the game I set up around 20 photographs and spoke with fans and shared the stories of the girls and women profiled in the project. The Red Stars are a team and organization that believe in the power of sport and believe in supporting everyone working to promote sport for women and girls everywhere.
So let’s get out and support them. Ladies, if you like soccer this is a great local team to support. Coaches, want to inspire your young players? Take them to a Chicago Red Stars game. Moms and dads, your daughters and sons will love a trip to see the Stars in action. The Red Stars’ next home game is on Mother’s Day, May 11th, and all moms get in free with a paid ticket. Full schedule can be found here: http://chicagoredstars.com/schedule/.
Go Red Stars!