Shea Groom Scores to Lead FC Kansas City to Victory

Photo courtesy of ISI Photos

Defender Brittany Taylor Makes Her 100th NWSL Regular Season Appearance

HOUSTON, Texas (August 13, 2017) – Brittany Taylor’s 100th appearance was a great one as FC Kansas City earned their first win since May 27 as they beat the Houston Dash 1-0. Forward Shea Groom added her second goal of the season late in the game to give the Blues the win.

Kansas City kicked off first and immediately started the attack. The midfield tandem of Desiree Scott and Christina Gibbons was vital from the start, breaking up several early passes in the middle to help the Blues get an attack rolling.

The first chance for either side came in the fourth-minute when the Dash sent a ball into the box to Houston’s Poliana, but the defender’s shot went wide of goal. The Blues started their own counter attack off the ensuing goal-kick, but as Taylor made her way up the field her cross was cleared from danger.
FCKC earned an early corner kick in the seventh minute when Groom hit the ball off Dash defender Cami Levin. The short corner led to the Blues’ first shot of the night by midfielder Lo’eau LaBonta, but her shot sailed just above the crossbar.
FC Kansas City continued to pile on the pressure throughout the half. In the eleventh minute came another solid chance for Kansas City after LaBonta stole the ball in the Dash’s half, but forward Brittany Ratcliffe’s shot went wide right.
Goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart made her first save of the night in the sixteenth minute when Dash midfielder Carli Lloyd tried her luck from outside. The Blues’ had another counterattack that led to two more chances. One was a Groom header off a corner kick that was cleared away in front of goal and the other was a LaBonta shot that went just over the goal. In the 25th minute, Lloyd went down with what appeared to be a left ankle injury and was subbed off in the 33rd minute.

In contrast to their game last Thursday, FC Kansas City was the aggressor throughout the night. By the time the match reached the halfway point, Kansas City held a 10-6 shot advantage.
The second half began with both sides looking eager for a goal. Houston had the better of a few chances with Barnhart making a couple saves. The best chance for the Dash came when Andressa let off a shot outside the box, but Barnhart handled it.
Forward Shea Groom played her college ball at nearby Texas A&M. Although she plays for her hometown team in Kansas City now, she still loves to play in the Lone Star State. Groom was all over the field tonight, either creating chances or taking quality shots.
In the 50th minute, Ratcliffe played a ball in the box that made its way to Groom’s feet, but the forward sent it over the crossbar. Kansas City was given another free kick opportunity when LaBonta was fouled a few yards outside the box, but Averbuch’s cross to Taylor was off the mark.
Kansas City finally broke through in the 83rd minute when Sauerbrunn found open space along the right side of the penalty box. FCKC’s captain dribbled towards the end line and crossed a lofting ball into the box. Groom rose above her defender and headed into the net for her second goal of the season and Sauerbrunn’s second assist as well.
With the win, Barnhart earned her fourth clean sheet of the season and it was well earned. Although FCKC held a sizeable shot advantage, the Dash’s shots were not routine saves.
Houston’s best chance came just before Groom’s score. Barnhart was called to action in the 62nd minute after Prince let off a shot from outside the box, but the goalkeeper stretched out to make the save. 11 minutes later, she came up with another save as Andressa lofted a ball into the box to the feet of Prince, but it rolled right into Barnhart’s arms.
The Dash had one last chance in the fourth minute of stoppage time after second-half substitute Maegan Kelly was called for a foul on Andressa, but Barnhart came up big once again handling the free kick.
FC Kansas City has seen late leads evaporate this season, but tonight the team was determined to hold on and bring home the victory.
“You just have to play smart,” said Sauerbrunn. “Time management is really important. You take the ball to the corner, you take your time doing set pieces…that’s when decision making is key and I thought we did a really good job. I thought, all in all, it was a very smart game.”

The Blues will be back home at Swope Soccer Village on Wednesday, August 16th for their final match of the season against the Portland Thorns. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. CT and the match can be streamed at or on the go90 app which is available on IOS and Android devices. Tickets for the match can be purchased here. 
NWSL Match Report
Match: Houston Dash vs FC Kansas City
Date: August 14, 2017
Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, TX
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CT, 8:30 p.m. ET
Attendance: 4,352
Weather: 89, Sunny
63’ – HOU Brooks (Yellow)
83’ Groom (Sauerbrunn)
Scoring Summary

Goals                              1           2          F

Houston Dash                  0           0          0

FC Kansas City                0           1          1

Houston Dash: Campbell, Levin, Benites, Brooks, Poliana, Beckie, Privett, Andressinha, Prince (Hagen 82’), Lloyd© (Roccaro 33’), Daly
Substitutes Not Used: Falknor, Heap, Henninger, van Wyk

FC Kansas City: Barnhart, Moros, Averbuch, Sauerbrunn©, Taylor, Gibbons, Scott, Ratcliffe (Kelly 85’), LaBonta (Bowen 65’), Groom (Tymrak 90’+2), Leroux
Substitutes Not Used: Miramontez, Parkhill, Flynn, Newfield