Boyds, Md. (June 23, 2013) – The Washington Spirit (1-6-3) lost 2-0 to FC Kansas City (6-4-1) on Sunday afternoon at Shawnee Mission District Stadium in Kansas City, Mis. The match was the first-ever meeting between the two sides, and was played in front of a crowd of 3,057.
“Kansas City is a very good side and played well today,” Spirit head coach Mike Jorden said. “Although I felt they outplayed us, we were in the game until the second goal two-thirds in.”
“We had a tough time creating chances and when we did we couldn’t catch a break, continued Jorden. “We’ve got to hold our heads up, learn from this and keep playing and fighting.”
U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder Lauren Cheney scored both goals for the Blues, striking first in the 18th minute on a strong shot into the upper right corner of the net. Spirit goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris made a diving save attempt and managed to get her fingertips on the ball, but not enough to redirect the shot.
In the 64th minute, Cheney added her second goal of the match and sixth of the season with an uncontested tap-in directly in front of the left post. Harris was caught on the right side of the goal having just made a save moments earlier.
Washington’s best scoring chance came in the 71st minute when Jasmyne Spencer beat Kansas City goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart to the right side but sent an open shot off the bottom of the post. Conny Pohlers made a nice individual play to create an open look in front of the box in the 33rd minute, but her shot went right into Barnhart’s chest. The U.S. Women’s National Team keeper earned her fifth clean sheet of the season for Kansas City.
Sunday’s match marked Pohlers’ NWSL debut, as the 34-year-old German international star played 69 minutes at forward before being subbed off for Colleen Williams. U.S. National Team defender Ali Krieger and Canada defender Robyn Gayle returned to action for the Spirit after missing the team’s last match for national team duties. Both played the full 90 minutes on the back line.
Harris turned in a strong performance in net for the Spirit, making eight saves and limiting the damage by stopping significantly more Blues scoring chances than she conceded.
Kansas City outshot Washington 18-6 on the afternoon, handing the Spirit their fourth straight loss since beating Seattle Reign 4-2 in a road match back on May 16.
Washington returns to action on June 28 when they travel to Western New York to face the Flash in the teams’ third meeting this season. Washington and Western New York played to a 1-1 draw at the Maryland SoccerPlex on April 20, and the Flash won 2-0 at the SoccerPlex on June 15.
The Spirit’s next home match will be on Wednesday, July 3 at 7:30 p.m. ET against FC Kansas City. It will be the second and final time the team’s face off in the regular season.