Two teams hanging on to their seasons faced off on Friday night in Boston and settled for a point after a 2-2 draw. As the playoffs get closer, the potentiality of these two clubs playing in October gets smaller each week. Still, each side is playing to finish with the best record possible.
Once the number two team in the NWSL standings in April, the Boston Breakers (3-7-6) began to drop each week after a loss to the top North Carolina Courage. Losing Rose Lavelle, the first pick in the 2017 NWSL College Draft, four to six weeks after suffering a strained left hamstring injury in June certainly did not help the Breakers either.
A promising season for FC Kansas City (3-7-5) after the return of Sydney Leroux and Amy Rodriguez from maternity leave suddenly took a turn when FCKC lost Rodriguez to an ACL injury the first week of the 2017 season. Their first match of the season was against the Boston Breakers, whom they defeated 2-0 with goals from Leroux and Rodriguez. Since then, the Blues have struggled, last earning a victory on May 27.
On Friday, both teams went without key players due to international duty at the Tournament of Nations that ended on Thursday night. Boston adjusted without rookie forward Margaret Purce and starting goalkeeper Abby Smith, and FCKC played without captain Becky Sauerbrunn and forward Sydney Leroux. Still, the match produced four goals from their young players.
Four Goals Scored: A Breakdown
21st minute - Maegan Kelly (FC Kansas City)
Christina Gibbons and Desiree Scott controlled the midfield for FCKC. For the Blues' first goal, Scott won the ball in KC's defensive third and dribbled up the field 60 yards. Out wide, Gibbons received the pass from Scott and took it up towards the goal. The Duke graduate then sent a cross into the goal box where Maegan Kelly made a run and was wide open to score the first goal for FCKC. It was her third goal of the season, tying her with Leroux for most goals for Kansas City.
26th minute - Rosie White (Boston Breakers)
The Breakers responded five minutes later. Katie Stengel passed to New Zealand international Rosie White, who took a one-time left-footed shot from a distance that soared towards the top corner of the KC goal. Goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart attempted to save it, but it was just too powerful for her stop or reach.
30th minute - Rosie White
White scored a brace with her second goal and third of the season. Off the corner kick, forward Adriana Leon sent a low cross in White's direction. White chipped it over the KC defense and Barnhart, who simply watched the ball go past them.
81st minute - Erika Tymrak (FC Kansas City)
With the game going into the final ten minutes, newly-signed rookie defender Sydney Miramontez sent a long ball left to Tymrak, who replaced Katie Bowen in the 71st minute. Tymrak dribbled for a couple of touches then sent a long-distance shot that bounced into the goal. The equalizer was Tymrak's second goal of the season.
FC Kansas City returns home to host the North Carolina Courage on Thursday, August 10, a game that was rescheduled when the July 22nd matchup was called in the 39th minute due to severe weather. The Boston Breakers visit the Washington Spirit in the NWSL Game of the Week on Lifetime next Saturday.