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KC NWSL earns a point in New Jersey

A late goal from Mariana Larroquette gives Kansas City a much-needed point.

Photo: NWSL / ISI Photo

The game against NJ/NY Gotham FC was to start at 6 pm CT. It didn’t as thunderstorms delayed kickoff for 3 hours and 20 minutes, but the game did not disappoint as the game inched towards midnight in the central time zone and into Saturday on the East Coast.

KC NWSL again had to adjust its starting XI since there were significant injuries (Elizabeth Ball, Taylor Leach, Abby Smith) and national team duty (Desiree Scott, Chloe Logarzo).

Unfortunately in the 11th minute, Darian Jenkins left the game with an injury to her left hamstring. Michele Vasconcelos replaced her to join Jéssica Silva and Amy Rodriguez on the attack.

But it would be NJ/NY Gotham FC that would strike first despite KC’s pressure. Ifeoma Onumonu took the ball at the the 18-yard box and sent the ball towards the bottom left, passing two defenders along its trajectory for the net, giving the home team the lead in the 31st minute.

Facing its potential seventh loss of the season, KC made some changes in the 77th minute, including bringing in Marianna Larroquette, who worked tiredlessly to break through the Gotham defense.

In the 83rd minute, Larroquette picked off a pass from the Gotham defense, passing the ball into open space, and determined to beat the last defender, caught up to the ball. Noticing the Gotham’s goalkeeper off her line, she sent a soaring shot towards the goal, equalizing the game at 1-1.

Gotham FC would attempt to win the game and put pressure on the KC defense with 4 shots on target in the closing minutes. But veteran goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart made two saves, including one she was just able to tip over the goal, keeping Kansas City in the final moments of the game towards a 1-1 draw.

Kansas City will stay on the road, traveling to Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, Washington versus OL Reign on Sunday July 11. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. CT, barring any weather delays, of course.