CHICAGO (CBS) — Don’t look now, but the Chicago Red Stars are one win away from playing for a national championship.

Their coach, Rory Dames, told CBS 2’s Marshall Harris they don’t want their season to end where it started as they visit Portland Sunday to play the Thorns in the semifinals.

READ MORE: Oak Park And River Forest High School Ban On Activities Due To COVID Outbreak Sparks Outrage

The Red Stars have come a long way since a season-opening beatdown in Portland back in May. Now, the Red Stars are 6-1-2 over their last nine games.

READ MORE: My Block, My Hood, My City Lights Up South Side By Decorating Homes For The Holidays

If you remember, they had to have a point in their last regular season game just to make it to the postseason. Now, they are halfway to a title – and this team has been in playoff mode.

“The last three or four games before the postseason were almost like playoff games for us,” said Red Stars midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo. “We knew we had to get points, and we needed results, so that kind of started the tone and set the tone for us. And I think with the experience this club has in the playoffs, it definitely is to our advantage.”

MORE NEWS: Reopened Markets, Stores Packed With Shoppers Ready To Celebrate Holidays

DiBernardo is from Naperville, and is hoping to be the second Naperville native to win it all for her hometown team this season. There was also, of course, Candace Parker with the Chicago Sky.

Marshall Harris