FC Kansas City Earns First Road Win of the Season
BOYDS, MD (May 20, 2017) – FC Kansas City faced off against the Washington Spirit this evening in hopes of extending their unbeaten streak. Their mission was accomplished as Alexa Newfield scored the only goal of the match and led the Blues to a 1-0 victory at the Maryland SoccerPlex, the team’s first win at that venue.
Still seeking their first road win of the season, head coach Vlatko Andonovski tweaked his game day strategy in an effort to spark his team’s chances of victory. Known for their patient play and strong defense, Kansas City came out of the gate with strong offensive pressure tonight.
The offensive emphasis was evident from the very beginning of the game. In the 13th minute, Brittany Ratcliffe forced her defender into a poor pass to goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé. A rushing Sydney Leroux nearly forced a turnover from Labbé, but the goalkeeper was just able to clear the ball from danger.
Even the defense got in on the offensive action. Becky Sauerbrunn found her way into the Washington side of the field many times throughout the game. In the 30th minute, the veteran center back got her head on a corner kick from Alexa Newfield that just missed the goal.
Newfield, getting the start for the second straight game and her fourth on the season, was active all over the field. In the 39th minute, she found herself wide open on the backside of the Spirit box. As the cross from Christina Gibbons came in, Leroux made an acrobatic bicycle kick attempt. Although she wasn’t able to get her attempt on net, she was able to deflect it wide where Newfield was waiting.
The second-year midfielder unleashed a shot that rocketed to the far side of the goal. The goal was the first in Newfield’s professional career and it ended a 135-minute goalless streak for the Blues.
In the second half, FC Kansas City kept up their pressure, even as the Spirit tried to equalize. Sauerbrunn and Yael Averbuch once again cleared away any chances Washington had inside the FCKC penalty box.
When the Spirit tried to flood the goal box with players and cross the ball in from distance, Nicole Barnhart was able to push through the crowd and corral any ball that came towards goal. In keeping a clean sheet, Barnhart adds to her NWSL record with her 35th shutout.
The win earns FC Kansas City three points and places them fourth in the NWSL table heading into tomorrow’s slate of matches. The team returns home next Saturday to Swope Soccer Village in an immediate rematch against the Washington Spirit. Kickoff on Saturday, May 20th is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. CT and tickets can be purchased online here.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Washington Spirit vs FC Kansas City
Date: May 20, 2017
Venue: Maryland SoccerPlex
Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. ET
Weather: 64, cloudy
48’ FCKC – Sauerbrunn (Yellow)
84’ WAS – Ordega (Yellow)
FCKC: Newfield (Leroux) 39’
Goals 1 2 F
Washington Spirit (1-4-1) 0 0 0
FC Kansas City (2-2-2) 1 0 1
Washington Spirit: Labbé, Kleiner, Zadorsky ©, Church, Johnson, Mewis, Jensen, Howard (Solaun 80'), Ship (Pugh 55’), Ordega, Williams (Stengel 68’)
Substitutes Not Used: Kallman, Castleberry, Haracic
FC Kansas City: Barnhart, Gibbons, Averbuch, Sauerbrunn ©, Taylor, Moros, LaBonta, Ratcliffe (Scott 87’), Newfield (Flynn 82’), Groom (Bowen 73’), Leroux
Substitutes Not Used: Tymrak, Flynn, Kelly, Parkhill