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Kansas City NWSL Unable to Find Equalizer against Houston

June 6, 2021 - National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) - Kansas City News Release


KANSAS CITY - Kansas City NWSL returned home to face the Houston Dash for the second time this regular season. The two teams battled evenly through most of the game, but the Dash were able to find a score in the 79th minute from defender Katie Naughton. Kansas City fought tough in the final minutes, but the hosts were unable to find an equalizer despite a late offensive surge.

The Dash started Sunday's contest on the front foot, setting a physical tone and bringing constant pressure towards Kansas City's back line. Houston accumulated three Yellow Cards in the first half alone and five total. Tempers nearly boiled over a bit in the 26th minute, when a late challenge from Dash midfielder, and Liberty, Missouri native, Shea Groom sparked a reaction from KC goalkeeper Abby Smith. The moment was the pinnacle of a feisty first 45 minutes that featured 15 total fouls - with 12 coming from Dash players.

Kansas City had the premiere chance of the first half, coming one minute before Groom and Smith's confrontation. Forward Mariana Larroquette headed in a goal that appeared to give the hosts the lead. However, the referee waved the goal off due to an offside call. Neither side had any other quality opportunities for the remainder of the first half as the sides entered the locker room deadlocked at zero.

"This league is so tight. Every game seems to be within a goal or so and everybody seems to be beating each other. Breaks are big for anybody, we certainly need some right now," Kansas City NWSL Head Coach Huw Williams said postgame. "...Those little things like that are differences from us going home today with three points instead of zero points."

Smith was called into action early in the second half, coming out to smother a potential one-on-one chance from Houston forward Rachel Daly in the 53rd minute. Kansas City immediately responded and appeared to be turning the tide. Forward Darian Jenkins led the charge, creating plenty of offensive opportunities with her pace, but nothing came of them.

Forward Jéssica Silva made her KC NWSL debut in the 74th minute to try and swing momentum further in Kansas City's favor. Silva made a dynamic run to help win a corner kick two minutes into her shift, but Kansas City was unable to punch it in following a flurry in front of Houston's net. Defenders Katie Bowen and Rachel Corsie both fired shots but neither found glory. A minute-and-a-half later, Naughton scored what proved to be the decisive goal.

"Disappointing game, disappointing result, disappointing way to give up a goal," Williams said. "We have a couple weeks to get better, we have a couple weeks to right the ship here and find ways to win games instead of finding ways to lose games."

Kansas City NWSL has the next two weeks off before returning to play on Sunday, June 20 at the Portland Thorns at 3 p.m. CT. The match will be televised nationally on CBS. KC's next home match is Wednesday, June 23 at 1 p.m. CT against Alex Morgan and Sydney Leroux and the Orlando Pride.

NWSL Match Report

Match: Kansas City NWSL vs Houston Dash

Date: June 6, 2021

Venue: Legends Field - Kansas City, Kansas

Kickoff: 1:07 p.m. CT, 2:07 p.m. ET

Weather: 82 degrees, cloudy

Attendance: 4,265

Discipline

18' HOU - Priscock (Yellow)

27' HOU - Groom (Yellow)

40' HOU - Seiler (Yellow)

52' HOU - Mewis (Yellow)

89' HOU - Oyster (Yellow)

Scoring

79' HOU - Noughton (Mewis)

Scoring Summary

Goals 1 2 F

Kansas City 0 0 0

Houston 0 1 1

Lineups:

Kansas City: Smith, Corsie, Ball, Edmonds (83' Nolf), Maemone, Bowen, Vincent, Vasconcelos (83' Hess), Jenkins, Rodriguez ©, Larroquette (74' Silva)

Subs not used: Barnhart, Del Fava, Miramontez, Johnson, Weber, McCain

Houston: Campbell, Priscock (74' Fields), Naughton, Oyster, Hanson, Seller, Mewis, Groom (74' Gomera-Stevens), Visalli (61' Sanchez), Latsko (74' Spencer), Daly ©

Subs Not Used: Harris, Ogle, Rosa.

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