From FC Kansas City
FC Kansas City lost for the first time in the 2014 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season tonight to the Washington Spirit. Amy Rodriguez scored in her second straight match for Kansas City, but it wasn’t enough as Diana Matheson notched two goals for the Spirit as she led her team to a 3-1 victory.
Washington caught Kansas City off guard early. In the fourth minute Crystal Dunn beat Nikki Phillips to a ball in the midfield and raced down the field. At the last moment she dished a pass to Diana Matheson who found the near post open for the 1-0 lead.
FC Kansas City looked to rebound right away after a streaking Amy Rodriguez was taken down in the box and awarded a Penalty Kick in the seventh minute. Normally automatic at the penalty spot, Lauren Holiday was unable to convert the kick, keeping her side down by a goal.
Able to regroup themselves, FC Kansas City returned to their possession-style attack right away. In the 29th minute Liz Bogus received a pass from her midfield and drove straight to goal with Amy Rodriguez on her right and Lauren Holiday on her left. With the defense coming to her, Bogus laid it off to Rodriguez who hit a great shot right away. Spirit goalkeeper, Ashlyn Harris was able to make the save on the initial shot, but Rodriguez followed that up with a shot that Harris had no chance on.
The game was turned in the 38th minute when Dunn was once again able to come across the Kansas City defense and find Matheson at the top of the penalty box. Matheson hit a one-time shot that curled away and into the upper left corner of the goal.
Right at the end of the half, Spirit forward Jodie Taylor was fouled just outside of the Kansas City penalty box. Christine Nairn hit her free kick into nearly the same exact spot of the goal as Matheson had minutes earlier. The restart goal gave Washington a 3-1 lead in the final minute of the half.
Just prior to the final goal, defender Nikki Phillips collided with a Spirit forward on a clearance attempt. She was attended to by the trainers and unable to return, being replaced by Nia Williams.
Neither side was able to capitalize on opportunities in the second half. FC Kansas City midfielder Frances Silva made her NWSL debut when she and Jenna Richmond were inserted into the lineup midway through the period. While both players were able to help Kansas City increase pressure on the Spirit, the team was unable to find the back of the net.
The loss is the first of the season for FC Kansas City, who heads to the Pacific Northwest next weekend for a battle with their rival, Portland Thorns FC on Saturday, April 26 at 9:00p.m. CT
. The team returns home on April 30 at 7:00p.m. CT against the Chicago Red Stars. Tickets are available by calling 855.4KC.GOAL or email at firstname.lastname@example.org