FC Kansas City traveled to Rochester, NY for a midweek matchup against the Western New York Flash. Missing several players due to injury or U.S. Women’s National Team duty, and playing with six rookies on the field, the Blues battled for ninety minutes. Morgan Marlborough scored her first professional goal, but it wasn’t enough as FC Kansas City lost 2-1 against the Western New York Flash.
Missing from tonight’s match were three players (Amy Rodriguez, Lauren Holiday, Becky Sauerbrunn) who were called to play with the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT), two players who were injured (Erika Tymrak, Liz Bogus). Head Coach Vlatko Andonovski started four rookies in the match.
Adding to the team’s depth woes, midfielder Melissa Henderson was hurt early in the match and forced to leave in the 17th minute, replaced by amateur call-up Molly Dreska.
The team battled hard for most of the match, but the changed lineup caused confusion at times, resulting in Western New York earning ten corner kicks on the night. In a sequence that saw the Flash getting three corners in a row, a ball popped out to Adriana Martin who lobbed it back into the box where Samantha Kerr headed it into the net, giving the Flash a 1-0 lead.
The referee added four minutes to the first half, which the Flash put to use. Three minutes into the additional time Samantha Kerr lobbed a pass over the last defender to Jasmyne Spencer. Although Kassey Kallman tried to get in front of the ball, Spencer had a step on her and was able to break free and slotted a pass under an approaching Nicole Barnhart. At the half, the Blues found themselves down 2-0.
FC Kansas City seemed to gel more offensively in the second half. They were able to sustain attacks on the Western New York defense several times. In the 57th minute, Frances Silva sent a free kick into the Flash penalty box. After bouncing around several times, Marlborough jumped on a loose ball and earned her first professional goal.
With the lead cut to 2-1, the Blues worked hard to equalize. Marlborough nearly accomplished the task late in the half, but Flash goalkeeper Lydia Williams was somehow able to get a hand on her shot and deflect it away from goal.