Evelyne Viens (right) celebrates her goal while Julie Ertz looks on. (Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports)

SANDY, Utah – Sky Blue FC dug itself a three-goal hole that was too difficult to climb out of and suffered a 3-2 semifinal defeat to the Chicago Red Stars at Rio Tinto Stadium in the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup Wednesday night.

The Red Stars will meet the Houston Dash in the final on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. They advanced to their second consecutive National Women’s Soccer League hampionship game, joining the Portland Thorns (2013, 2017-18) and North Carolina Courage (2017-19) as the only active NWSL teams to appear in multiple championship matches and to do so in consecutive years.

Bianca St. Georges, Rachel Hill, and Savannah McCaskill scored for the winners before Evelynne Viens tallied for Sky Blue FC, which was aided by an own goal.

St. Georges continued her impressive NWSL debut, opening up the scoring in the seventh minute. She cut to her left foot to get past a defender and fund the back of the net at the far post for her first professional goal.

Four minutes later, a deflected cross from St. Georges bounced off Katie Johnson and a Sky Blue FC defender to find Hill, who shot with her left foot and beat goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan for a 2-0 Chicago lead.

St. Georges also was credited with an assist on the hour, setting up McCaskill’s goal on the hour.

On the defensive side, St. Georges recorded two interceptions, a tackle and clearance, as well as six recoveries and three duels won.

Sky Blue FC made a game of it, but could not score the equalizer.

In the 72nd minute, Evelynne Viens scored off of a corner kick for the Jersey side’s first goal.

Five minutes later, a cross deflected off Ertz and into the net past goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher to cut the lead to 3-2.

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Guardian.com. Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of BigAppleSoccer.com. He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at Amazon.com.