Sky Blue FC, Chicago Red Stars both advance to NWSL semis on penalties

HERRIMAN, Utah -- Kailen Sheridan stopped Bayley Feist's penalty kick and Sky Blue advanced to the Challenge Cup semifinals 4-3 on penalties after a scoreless draw with the Washington Spirit on Saturday.

Sky Blue will play the Chicago Red Stars, who also advanced 4-3 on penalties after a scoreless draw with OL Reign in Saturday's late match.

Three of the quarterfinal matches at the National Women's Soccer League tournament went to penalty shootouts. On Friday night, the Houston Dash advanced on penalties after a scoreless draw against the Utah Royals.

Under tournament rules, tie games went straight to a shootout rather than extra periods. The last game to go to penalties before Friday night was the 2016 league championship.

Sheridan had eight saves in regulation before coming up big against Feist to end the shootout.

Playing the tournament without Carli Lloyd and Mallory Pugh because of injuries, Sky Blue was seeded sixth after a pair of losses in the group stage.

The Spirit had secured the second seed with a 1-0 victory over the Dash last Sunday, but it was costly. Midfielder Andi Sullivan suffered a knee injury and is expected to miss three to six months.

U.S. national team midfielder Rose Lavelle, who scored in the World Cup final last summer in France, started on the bench for the Spirit. She came in as a sub in the second half.

Sheridan made a stunning save late in the first half when she dove to get a hand on a strike by Spirit rookie Ashely Sanchez.

The Spirit's Kumi Yokoyama hit the crossbar with a shot from distance in the 54th minute.

Ifeoma Onumonu's attempt at a header for Sky Blue in the 71st minute hit the ground too hard and sailed over the goal.

The eighth-seeded Portland Thorns, winners over two-time defending champion North Carolina on Friday, will play the Dash in the first semifinal on Wednesday morning.

Thorns goalkeeper Bella Bixby, who started in the group stage, announced on Saturday morning that she had injured her ACL and was headed home for treatment.

Red Stars win 4-3 on penalties after 0-0 draw with the Reign

The Chicago Red Stars advanced to the semifinals of the Challenge Cup by prevailing 4-3 on penalties after a scoreless draw with OL Reign on Saturday night.

Lauren Barnes' attempt for the Reign hit the post to seal it for Chicago.

The Reign's Jessica Fishlock got her first start since tearing her ACL in a game last July. She had one of the best attempts in the first half, but was thwarted by Chicago goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, who was solid throughout the game.

Naeher, who was in goal last summer for the U.S. team that won the World Cup, punched away a header from a wide open Sofia Huerta in the 59th minute. Later in the half, she tipped Kristen McNabb's shot from some 30 yards out.

Kealia Watt had a good chance for Chicago out in front of the goal in the 67th minute but it went just wide.

Goalkeeping has been highlighted in the quarterfinals, with just one goal scored -- by Portland's Morgan Weaver -- in the three other games.

The Reign were playing without U.S. national team star Megan Rapinoe, who opted out of the tournament.