Coming into tonight’s match, the Boston Breakers were the last remaining undefeated team in the NWSL, while FC Kansas City was recovering from their first loss last week. While still early in the season, this game had the feel of a ‘must-win’ situation for both sides. To make matters more complicated for Kansas City, center-back and U.S. National Team allocation, Becky Sauerbrunn, was unavailable due to an injury suffered against Western New York last week. Taking her place on the back line tonight was Jen Buczkowski, while Casey Loyd stepped in to fill her role in the midfield.
Both players played admirably and held Boston to only five shots on goal. Nicole Barnhart easily earned her third win, all by shut-out. Renae Cuellar returned to her goal scoring ways when she slotted home a breakaway attempt against her teammate on the Mexican National Team, Cecilia Santiago, in the 17th minute. Lauren Cheney was credited with the assist on Cuellar’s goal and then notched a score of her own in the 64th minute when she guided in a cross from Casey Loyd on the left side then using her upper body to deflect the ball inside the near post.