Lauren Cheney Scores League Leading Eighth Goal in 2-0 Win

OVerland PArk, Kan (June 30, 2013) – After a disappointing draw against Sky Blue FC on Wednesday, FC Kansas City again jumped out to a 2-0 lead against the Portland Thorns.  Today, however, as the clock ticked down Kansas City’s defense held strong and came away with the 2-0 victory.  Lauren Cheney scored her National Women’s Soccer League leading eighth goal and Merritt Mathias scored her first professional goal in front of 4,774 fans at Verizon Wireless Field at Shawnee Mission District Stadium.

The Thorns boast one of the most powerful scoring duos in the league with Alex Morgan and Christine Sinclair.  In the last matchup between these two sides, Morgan and Sinclair caused havoc in the Kansas City defensive end.  The four goals scored were the most given up by the ‘Blues’ this season.  Tonight, rather than try to defend the duo, Coach Andonovski’s strategy seemed to be denying them chances at the ball.  Once again, he lined up with Melissa Henderson, Cheney, Jen Buczkowski and Desiree Scott down the spine.  With Buczkowski and Scott denying any balls across the middle, they were easily able to feed Cheney and Henderson to keep the play in Portland’s defensive third.

In the 10th minute, Cheney found Portland goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc off her line slightly as she drove down the middle of the field.  Seizing the opportunity, she hit a well-placed shot that was over the reach of LeBlanc and dropped into the net behind her.  The goal was her eighth of the season and puts her ahead of Abby Wambach for the NWSL scoring lead.

In the second half, Portland pressured the Kansas City defense looking for any attempt to equalize.  The ‘Blues’ defense forced the Thorns into many errors, however, and countered with a quick attack whenever possible.  In the 71st minute, Leigh Ann Robinson stole a pass from Portland’s attack and fed the ball into the middle of the box.  Capitalizing on LeBlanc’s misplay, Matthias tapped the ball around the goalkeeper and into the open goal.

FC Kansas City is back in action on Wednesday at Washington at 6:30p.m. CT.  They look to go 2-0 against the Spirit, after defeating them 2-0 at home on June 23rd.  The team returns to Verizon Wireless Field next Sunday July 7th at 3:10p.m. CT against Abby Wambach and the Western New York Flash


NWSL Match Report

Match: Portland Thorns FC vs. FC Kansas City Date: June 30, 2013 Venue: Verizon Wireless Field at Shawnee Mission District Stadium, Overland Park, Kansas Kickoff: 3:10p.m. PT (4:10pm ET) Attendance: 4,774 Weather: Sunny, 74 degrees

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Lineups: FCKC: 1-Barnhart Goalkeeper; 13-Robinson Right Back, 14-Sesselmann Center Back, 4-Sauerbrunn (C) Center Back, 19-Mewis Left Back; 8-Jones (9-Mathias 46’) Right Midfielder, 6-Buczkowski Midfielder, 11-Scott Midfielder, 12-Cheney Midfielder, 15-Tymrak Left Midfielder; 2-Henderson (Cuellar 83’) Forward

PTFC: GK LeBlanc, D Dougherty, D Williamson, D Buehler, D Marshall, M Washington (Kerr 62’), M Weimer (Foxhoven 46’), M Wetzel (Shim 72’), M Long, F Sinclair (C), F Morgan

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