West Australian Sam Kerr netted her 16th goal of the NWSL campaign to ensure she won the league’s Golden Boot for the second successive season.
However it wasn’t enough to send Chicago Red Stars into the playoffs with a win.
Instead the Red Stars slumped to a 2-1 loss in Utah against the Royals.
While Chicago’s finals place was already assured, they were hoping to finish the regular season in style but were undone by a second-half fightback from the hosts to snap their seven-game unbeaten run.
But Kerr was again the star for the Red Stars, giving her side the lead to pull further ahead at the top of the scoring charts.
The Westfield Matildas star got on the end of Arin Gilliland’s cross to head in from close range to put Chicago 1-0 up at the break.
Kerr, who had six shots and three key passes for the match, finishes the regular season with 16 goals, one short of her record-setting haul of 17 last season.
She also wrapped up the prestigious Golden Boot for the NWSL for the second successive year, the first player to achieve that feat in the competition’s history.
Second-half goals from Amy Rodriguez and Katie Stengel saw Utah come away with the victory to end their inaugural season in the NWSL in fifth spot.
Westfield Matildas playmaker Katrina Gorry was an unused substitute for the Royals.
Chicago takes on Premiers North Carolina Courage in the Semi-Finals next weekend for a spot in the NWSL decider.