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Banini Brace Lifts Spirit Over FC Kansas City 3-2

Photo: John Rieger / ISI Photos

KANSAS CITY, Mo (July 16, 2016) – The Washington Spirit (8-7-2, 26 points) defeated FC Kansas City (3-6-4, 13 points) on the road with a hard fought 3-2 win in front of 2,013 fans. Estefania Banini earned a brace and Joanna Lohman scored her fourth goal of the season, which lifted the Spirit to a 3-2 win over the defending National Women’s Soccer League champions. Shea Groom and Frances Silva kept Kansas City close with a goal each.

The Spirit and Kansas City shared possession for the majority of the first half with both sides getting good looks on goal. In the 7th minute Yael Averbuch took down Francisca Ordega, which set up a free kick for Christine Nairn whose free kick found Lohman running toward the near post, but she headed it just wide. In the 17th minute, Nairn had another free kick opportunity which she sent short to Whitney Church who crossed the ball well in front of the net, but the Spirit was unable to capitalize.

In the 42nd minute,  Silva and Erika Tymrak worked the ball toward the net with a few passes before Silva got behind the defense with a good look at the goal, but Spirit goalkeeper Kelsey Wys was there to make a diving save.

Two minutes of first half stoppage time was enough for the Spirit to grab the lead before heading into the locker room. Nairn took a free kick which bounced off the head of a Kansas City player and fell to Banini. The Argentinian wove through a several Kansas City defenders and slotted her shot beyond FCKC goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart into the bottom right hand corner of the net.

Kansas City came out strong in the second half with a dangerous driven shot on goal in the first minute of the half, but Wys was able to save it. In the 49th minute, Tymrak found space behind the Spirit defense but blasted her shot over the crossbar.

A Nairn corner kick in the 59th minute caused chaos in front of the net and ended in chances for Ordega, Church, Megan Oyster, and Estelle Johnson before the ball found its way to the feet of Lohman who settled the chaos by blasting the ball into the back of the net to give the Spirit a 2-0 lead.

After a Spirit goal off a corner kick, FCKC answered with one of its own. Tymrak served a corner to the far post in the 69th minute to a waiting Silva who headed the ball into the net to halve the Spirit’s lead to 2-1.

The battle of the corner kick goals continued as Averbuch headed out another Nairn corner kick, but her header bounced to Banini who volleyed from outside the 18 past the outstretched arms of Barnhart to the upper left hand corner of the net.

Groom gave hope to Kansas City in the 91st minute after a Brianne Reed throw in. Groom shot the ball from close range past Wys’s left side to make the score 3-2. Despite some more chances, FCKC was unable to find an equalizer.

The Washington Spirit will continue its road trip against Sky Blue FC next Saturday at Yurcak Field at 7 p.m. ET. The next home game at the Maryland SoccerPlex is Saturday, July 30th also against Sky Blue FC. For tickets, please go to our website.

NWSL Match Report

Match: FC Kansas City vs. Washington Spirit
Date: July 16, 2016
Venue: Swope Soccer Village, Kansas City, Mo
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Attendance: 2,013
Weather: 93 degrees, Sunny

Washington Spirit Lineup: 18 Kelsey Wys; 3- Caprice Dydasco, 24- Estelle Johnson, 4 – Megan Oyster, 5- Whitney Church (22-Alyssa Kleiner, 80′); 23- Tori Huster, 7-Christine Nairn, 15- Joanna Lohman; 10- Estefania Banini, 14- Francisca Ordega (17-Cali Farquharson 84′), 20- Cheyna Williams (12- Katie Stengel 63′)

Subs not used: 21- Alli Murphy, 36- DiDi Haracic
Head Coach: Jim Gabarra

FC Kansas City Lineup: 18- Nicole Barnhart; 10- Yael Averbuch, 13- Brittany Taylor, 21- Katie Bowen, 22- Brianne Reed; 1- Lo’eau LaBonta, 7- Mandy Laddish, 11- Frances Silva (16- Tiffany Weimer 83′); 15- Erika Tymrak, 20- Tiffany McCarty (23- Caroline Kastor 84′)  2- Shea Groom

Subs not used: 19- Cat Parkhill, 88- Alexa Newfield, 24-Molly Menchel
Head Coach: Vlatko Andonovski

Team 1 2 Final
FC Kansas City  0  2  2
Washington Spirit  1  2  3
SCORING SUMMARY
Goal Time Team Goal Scorer Assist
 1 48+ Washington Spirit Estefania Banini
 2 58 Washington Spirit Joanna Lohman
 3 69 FC Kansas City Frances Silva Erika Tymrak
 4 83 Washington Spirit Estefania Banini
 5 91+ FC Kansas City Shea Groom
CAUTIONS AND EJECTIONS
Time Team ## Player Card Reason
28 FC Kansas City 1 Lo’eau LaBonta Yellow Reckless Foul
62 Washington Spirit 3 Caprice Dydasco Yellow Tactical Foul
71 Washington 15 Joanna Lohman Yellow Tactical Foul
78 FC Kansas City 2 Shea Groom Yellow Tactical Foul

Stats Summary: KC/WAS
Shots: 20 / 14
Shots on Goal: 8 / 4
Saves: 1 / 6
Corner Kicks: 6 / 6
Fouls: 16 / 10
Offside: 2/ 0

Officials:
Referee: Elvis Mahmutovic
Assistant Referee 1: TJ Zablocki
Assistant Referee 2: Maggie Short
4th Official: Christopher Slane