In sweltering heat in Boyds, Maryland, the Washington Freedom and Chicago Red Stars battled to a scoreless draw on Sunday.
Plenty of chances were taken, but thanks to exceptional saves by Freedom goalkeeper Erin McLeod, the Freedom escaped Chicago's pressing offense to earn a point for the tie.
The Red Stars were dominant on shots, with 23 to the Freedom's five. Thanks to a stronger-looking Freedom defense as well as McLeod, Washington was able to fend off the Red Stars.
Chicago's first chance came in the 18th minute, when Christiane made a run on goal and crossed to Ella Masar. Her shot went over the goal.
Their next chance on goal came in the 35th minute when Freedom midfielder Allie Long fouled Chicago's Megan Rapinoe about 30 yards from goal. Defender Marian Dalmy hit a hard shot, but it was punched over.
While it wasn't the prettiest of games, both teams were scrappy and fought continuously.
"[Chicago] played well and took advantage of our fatigue and played the quick ball which worked against us," said McLeod.
Washington captain Cat Whitehill said heat wasn't so much of a factor in the draw. "We came out lethargic, and I don't really know what happened there."
One of the best chances for the Freedom came in the 78th minute when Abby Wambach drew a foul just outside the penalty box. A rocket from Whitehill went wide of the goal.
The Freedom remain in fourth place in the league.
Click for video highlights! Courtesy of Kat Galsim