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KC NWSL loses to the Houston Dash

Despite a strong performance, Kansas City NWSL continues winless streak in 2021.

Photo: Thad Bell | The Blue Testament

KC NWSL returned to Legends Field to face the Houston Dash, an opponent they have faced twice already in 2021. KC is 0-1-1 versus the Dash, and the team hoped playing in front of the home crowd would help the team break an eight-game winless streak.

Kansas City would be without its three Canadian players. Desiree Scott, Victoria Pickett, and Jordyn Listro, who are away with Canada’s National Team as the team prepares for the final FIFA window ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Head coach Huw Williams again presented a variation of the starting XI, moving Katie Bowen and Michelle Vasconcelos to midfield.

In front of 4,265 fans on a warm Sunday afternoon, it took both teams time to settle down and get a rhythm. As the half progressed, KC NWSL forward Mariana Larroquete scored a goal off a Rachel Corsie free-kick in the 25th minute. Unfortunately, the goal was called offside, much to the disappointment of the home crowd.

Things got heated as Houston took down Kristen Edmonds. But goalkeeper Abby Smith confronted Shea Groom, going toe-to-toe with the KC native. Groom would receive a yellow card for her physical play.

On a set piece in the 42nd minute, Amy Rodriguez missed a goalscoring opportunity, sending her shot soaring. Despite the efforts of both teams, the game went into halftime scoreless.

The second half continued the same way it ended, with both Houston and KC trying to get on the board, but Jane Campbell and Abby Smith continued making saves.

Of note in the second half, Jéssica Silva made her KC debut, subbing in for Mariana Larroquette in the 74th minute. Silva came to Kansas City after spending the last two seasons with Olympique Lyonnais. Silva’s substitution helped the KC offense gain momentum.

But as KC created opportunities, keeping the crowd engaged, Houston would be the first to score. Kristie Mewis took a corner kick and found the head of Katie Naughton in the 79th minute.

The goal inspired Kansas City to try to get an equalizer. In the 87th minute, Darian Jenkins only had the keeper to beat, but it was a difficult angle, and Campbell was able to get a touch for a save.

KC continued to press, but it only led to missed opportunities, and the game would end in Houston’s favor. KC NWSL has now gone 9 games in 2021 without a win.

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.