FC Kansas City Shut Out on the Road
Cary, NC (June 3, 2017) – FC Kansas City had their four-game unbeaten streak snapped as they fell on the road to the North Carolina Courage 2-0, dropping the Blues to 1-3-0 on the road and 3-3-2 overall. The Courage were led to victory with second-half goals by midfielder McCall Zerboni and rookie forward Ashley Hatch seven minutes apart. The Courage continue to sit at the top of the table and improve their record to 6-3.
The match was a physical one from the start with North Carolina dominating possession throughout most of the game. The Courage recorded 12 shots in the first half to Kansas City’s four, but only two of them were on goal. Blues’ goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart recorded her league-leading 300th save of her NWSL career with a stop of Courage defender Taylor Smith’s shot in the 30th minute.
Kansas City was forced to make an early substitution when midfielder Katie Bowen, who replaced suspended midfielder Alexa Newfield in the starting line-up, went down with an injury in the 17th minute. Midfielder Becca Moros came in and provided the Blues with an extra buffer in defensive midfield.
The Courage and Blues traded chances in the closing minutes of the first half. The Courage almost converted a corner kick, but the defensive effort of Kansas City along with the post rejected North Carolina a goal. Midfielder Lo’eau LaBonta led the counter attack for the Blues and fed forward Sydney Leroux a nicely weighted pass on the ground that forced Courage goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland to make a save.
The second half began like the first with the Courage pressuring the Blues in their own half. The Blues had a chance in the 54th minute when forward Shea Groom played a long-ball over the top to forward Brittany Ratcliffe, but Rowland was able to come out of the box to stop the attack. On the other side a minute later, Moros gave up a free kick right outside the box, but Courage defender Jaelene Hinkle hit it high to keep the match scoreless.
The Courage would score the first goal in the 60th minute. Courage Defender Abby Erceg headed a corner kick down to Zerboni who flicked it past Barnhart to put North Carolina up 1-0 on the Blues. Less than 10 minutes later in the 67th minute, forward Lynn Williams played a ball into the box to Hatch who put the ball in the back of the net for her first professional goal and doubled the North Carolina lead.
Midfielder Erika Tymrak entered the game in 69th minute for Ratcliffe and immediately made an impact recording two shots in her first three minutes. The Blues kept up the attack and earned another free kick at the top of the box, but Averbuch was not able to put it in the back of the net.
A late chance for Kansas City happened when substitute midfielder Maegan Kelly had a shot on goal off a pass from Tymrak, but Rowland came up with the save to keep the Blues shut out. The Courage continued to dominate the rest of the match until the final whistle blew.
FC Kansas City stays at 11 points this season going into the first international break. The Blues will look to bounce back as they return to action Saturday June 17th at 3pm CT against the Seattle Reign at Swope Soccer Village. That game can be streamed live on go90.com or on the go90 app which is available for IOS and Android. Tickets for that game are still on sale and can be found here.
NWSL Match Report
Match: North Carolina Courage vs. FC Kansas City
Date: June 3, 2017
Venue: WakeMed Soccer Park
Kickoff: 2:50 pm CT
Weather: 86, Partly Cloudy
13’ NCC: Hatch (Yellow - Foul)
43’ FCKC: Sauerbrunn (Yellow - Foul)
57’ NCC: Zerboni (Yellow - Foul)
60’ NCC: Zerboni (Erceg)
67’ NCC: Hatch (Williams)
Goals 1 2 F
North Carolina Courage (6-3-0) 0 2 2
FC Kansas City (3-3-2) 0 0 0
NC Courage: Rowland, Smith, Dahlkemper, Erceg©, Hinkle, Debinha (Rosana 86’), Mewis, Zerboni, Doniak (Hamilton, 70’), Hatch (Eddy, 76’), Williams
Substitutes Not Used: D’Angelo, McDonald, Speck, Witteman
FC Kansas City: Barnhart, Gibbons, Averbuch, Sauerbrunn©, Taylor, Scott, LaBonta (Kelly, 76’), Bowen (Moros, 17’), Ratcliffe (Tymrak, 69’), Groom, Leroux
Substitutes Not Used: Parkhill, Flynn, Reed