After a four game unbeaten streak, the reigning NWSL champions have fallen to the Washington Spirit with two goals late in the game. This is the first in a series of games without national team players Heather O'Reilly, Becky Sauerbrunn and Desiree Scott who are in a national team training camp in preparation for this summer's Olympic Games. Alex Arlitt, the defensive rookie who has made continuous starts for FC Kansas City in the left back position since recovering from a pre-season hamstring injury, was a late scratch for tonight's game. These absences made room for Lo'eau LaBonta and Brianne Reed to make their first professional starts.
The first half consisted of a back and forth game with both teams fighting for possession and getting shots fired off. The first shot from the Blues in the 15th minute was off of a corner kick by Erika Tymrak, finding the head of forward Tiffany McCarty but shooting far past the left side of the goal. Minutes later the Blues had another chance with a corner kick, but goalkeeper Kelsey Wys was there to stop the shot from forward Shea Groom. The Blues had another set piece in the 38th minute that allowed defender Yael Averbuch to send a torpedo towards the goal off of a free kick. Luckily for Washington, Wys was there to once again save the day. At half-time the score remained nil-nil with only one shot on frame for the Blues and two shots on frame for the Spirit.
The second half started with no substitutions made by either team at the half. In the 50th minute Averbuch sent a shot towards the far post and Wys made an easy save. Two minutes later FCKC keeper Nicole Barnhart makes a diving save to stop a ball from Joanna Lohman. The crossbar once again played defender this game as a shot from Shea Groom ricocheted off of it in the 54th minute. Washing subbed in Franny Ordega in the 59th minute, a move that would change the momentum of the game for the Spirit. Twenty minutes after she subs in Ordega gets a weak shot past Barnhart, putting the Spirit up by a goal. A second goal is made by midfielder Tori Huster off of a corner kick, only her third goal in her professional career.
The game would come to a close with a 0-2 score, putting the former champions in 8th place out of 10 in league standings. Overall, the team's defense has been solid this season, the problem has been finding the back of the net. In the eleven games thus far, there have only been 6 goals scored by the team. In order for the team to find success in the remainder of the season they need to be able to put shots on frame and find the back of the net. If they can do that, they still have a shot at making the playoffs.