Kansas City, Missouri (May 27, 2017) – For the second week in a row, the Washington Spirit (1-5-1, 4 pts) came up one goal short against FC Kansas City (3-2-2, 11 pts), this time falling 3-2 on the road against the perennial top-ranked defensive side in the National Women’s Soccer League.
The youngest current player in the NWSL, 19-year-old U.S. National Team rising star Mallory Pugh, played the full 90 minutes in her historic first start as a member of the Spirit and as a professional player.
Kristie Mewis netted her second goal of the season to open the scoring in just the fifth minute, giving Washington an early 1-0 lead. Kansas City struck back quickly, as Sydney Leroux scored the next two goals within the next 25 minutes to record a first half brace. Brittany Ratcliffe contributed the first of her two assists for the night on Leroux’s ninth minute equalizer, before Leroux followed up with an unassisted goal in the 27th minute.
Ratcliffe’s second assist came in the 60th minute on a pass to U.S. Women’s National Team captain Becky Sauerbrunn, who scored to make it a 3-1 for Kansas City. However, Kansas City went down a player in the 70th minute when Alexa Newfield received a second yellow card for a collision in the box with Spirit goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé.
Havana Solaun, who entered in the 66th minute for Line Sigvardsen Jensen, answered back for the Spirit in the 83rd minute, netting her third goal of the season to cut the Kansas City lead down to 3-2.
Facing a shorthanded 10-player opposition, Washington continued to create scoring chances as Pugh finished second on the team with 88% passing accuracy on 25 attempts and recording two shots. Katie Stengel led the Spirit with 90% passing accuracy on 20 attempts.
Kansas City outshot Washington 15-12 overall, and had seven shots on target while the Spirit had three. The Spirit defense racked up six blocked shots while Kansas City had four. Sauerbrunn recorded all four blocks, and made three tackles and three clearances. Washington controlled 54.4% of the possession to Kansas City’s 45.6%, and made 424 passes to Kansas City’s 359. Shelina Zadorsky led all players with nine clearances and 61 total passes. Estelle Johnson was second among all players with 58 total passes, 35 of which came on the attacking side of the field.
Labbé made four more saves for the Spirit, bringing her total to 33 on the season. Kansas City goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart recorded one save in the win.
The Spirit returns home to the Maryland SoccerPlex for its next match on Saturday, June 3 as the team hosts the Houston Dash. Kickoff at the Maryland SoccerPlex’s Maureen Hendricks Field is set for 7 p.m. ET. [TICKETS]
Tickets for all Washington Spirit home games are available now at Tickets.WashingtonSpirit.com.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Washington Spirit vs FC Kansas City
Date: May 27, 2017
Venue: Children’s Mercy Victory Field
Kickoff: 8:00 p.m. ET
Weather: Cloudy, 70s
15’ FCKC – Newfield (Yellow)
39’ WAS – Dougherty Howard (Yellow)
70’ FCKC – Newfield (2nd Yellow)
86’ WAS – Ordega (Yellow)
89’ FCKC – Taylor (Yellow)
WAS: Mewis 5’
FCKC: Leroux 9’
FCKC: Leroux (Ratcliffe) 27’
FCKC: Sauerbrunn (Ratcliffe) 60’
WAS: Solaun (Ordega) 83’
Goals 1 2 F
Washington Spirit (1-5-1) 1 1 2
FC Kansas City (3-2-2) 2 1 3
Washington Spirit: Labbe, Zadorsky (c), Church, Johnson, Kleiner, Dougherty Howard, Sigvardsen Jensen, (Solaun 66′), Mewis, Williams (Ordega 28’), Pugh, Stengel (Ship 77’)
Substitutes Not Used: Kallman, Agnew, Castleberry, Haracic
FC Kansas City: Barnhart, Sauerbrunn, Moros (Flynn 83’), Taylor, Averbuch, Scott, Groom (76’ Gibbons), Newfield, LaBonta, Ratcliffe (65’ Bowen), Leroux
Substitutes Not Used: Tymrak, Kelly, Parkhill, Reed