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 Kansas City Current

Kansas City Current Defeat North Carolina Courage at Home to Remain Unbeaten

May 12, 2024 - National Women's Soccer League (NWSL)
Kansas City Current News Release

KANSAS CITY - The Kansas City Current (6-0-3, 21 pts., 1st place) remain undefeated and regain the top spot in the NWSL table as they defeated the North Carolina Courage (4-5-0, 12 pts., 6th) 1-0 at CPKC Stadium Sunday evening. Veteran midfielder Lo LaBonta made her fourth start of the season and hit a career milestone of ten thousand minutes played. Forward Debinha returned to the starting lineup and scored her first goal of the season to clinch the victory for Kansas City.

"The things we talked a lot about is the importance of winning games 1-0," said Current head coach Vlatko Andonovski. "5-2 is great, 4-2, 5-3, they're all great, but 1-0 it just strengthens the character and mentality of the team and prepares them for tough matches. Which, there are going to be a lot in the regular season and hopefully in the postseason."

Four minutes into a rainy first half, veteran midfielder Lo'eau LaBonta hit a career milestone with 10,000 minutes played, becoming only the 51st player in NWSL history to do so.

KC goalkeeper AD Franch posted her second clean sheet of the season and in the eleventh minute made a great diving tip save, outstretched to the near side of the net, one of her two saves on the afternoon.

With 21 shots and eight on target, the Current were relentless. Forward Temwa Chawinga had plenty of opportunities in the match. She alone had eight shots in this game, the highest total for a Kansas City Current player this season. In the 14th minute Chawinga zig-zagged through two defenders making them miss her with a shot to the right corner of the box, forcing the Courage goalkeeper to stretch out to make a save.

Debinha made her first start since returning from injury and was on the hunt for a goal. In the 31st minute she took a shot at the top of the penalty box, far post, that was deflected just wide. Chawinga would take another shot after breaking through two defenders in the 36th minute, but the ball just skimmed past the goal.

The rain slowed and came to a halt as the two teams went into halftime with a scoreless draw, the first time the Current had been held scoreless in the first half at CPKC Stadium.

In the 52nd minute the Current's relentless pursuit paid off. Chawinga drove toward the goal from the left side. She sent a curling shot to the far post, but North Carolina's goalkeeper was just able to get her hand on it and deflect it across the goalmouth. In the perfect place to pick up the rebound, Debinha jumped on the deflected shot and sent it home to the back of the net. Her first goal of the season gave Kansas City the 1-0 lead and marked the 12th different goal scorer for the Current this year. Debinha has scored against every active NWSL club except Bay FC.

Veteran Nichelle Prince made her Kansas City debut in the 61st minute. The Canadian forward was acquired in the offseason, but was injured with her national team in the Concacaf W Gold Cup.

Chawinga had two more close opportunities to add to the Current's lead, in the 89th minute, she got open yet again and collided with the NC goalkeeper, giving the her a chance to make the save. Then again in the fifth minute after the clock hit 90 minutes, another block had to be made by Kurtz in order to stop a speeding Chawinga.

Kansas City Current have scored in eight of nine games and tallied 21 total scores. The club's +10 goal differential also leads the league.

The Current 2024 unbeaten streak extends to nine games, but dating back to the 2023 season, the Current are unbeaten in 11 games. The club record is 13 games unbeaten set during the 2022 season.

Kansas City remains home at CPKC Stadium, the first stadium purpose-built for a women's professional team, Saturday May 18 for a match up with Racing Louisville at 8:30 p.m. CT. Fans who can't make it to the match can watch on KMCI, 38 The Spot and ION television. Fans at home can listen along on 90.9 The Bridge and on the KC Current App.

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