The Kansas City Current fought back from a first half deficit to earn a 2-1 victory Friday over the Chicago Red Stars. After coming back from a goal down a few days earlier at Racing Louisville to secure a draw, the Current followed it up with a pair of second half goals to take the win.
The Red Stars dominated most of the first half, creating several opportunities. Chicago took the lead in the 22nd minute when a blocked shot from Mallory Pugh rebounded to Vanessa DiBernardo. The followup shot deflected off Current defender, looping up and over keeper AD Franch.
“In the first half we lacked a little bit of urgency, a little bit of bite, it was a little lackadaisical,” Kristen Hamilton explained after the match. With urging from the leaders on the team, the Current came out with more “bite”.
In the 58th minute, the Current leveled the score. Lo’eau LaBonta turned in traffic and slid the ball across the top of the box to Hailie Mace. The Current defender took a touch between a pair of Chicago players and launched a rocket into the upper corner past Alyssa Naeher.
“Halie is a great talent,” head coach Potter stated. “Its her birthday weekend so what a birthday celebration it was for her to get on the scoresheet today. She took the goal very, very well.”
Mace was not done though; she attempted another shot from outside the box in the 86th minute that was blocked by a Chicago defender. Mace controlled her own rebound and chipped the ball over the defensive line to Hamilton. The resulting shot was roofed into the Chicago goal, giving Kansas City their first lead of the season.
Hamilton said the connection was a “roomie thing” and Mace claimed their brains are “connected.”
“It wasn’t quite a complete performance from us but in front of goal both players took their opportunities well on a hard night here,” coach Potter stated.
Kansas City held off Chicago’s attempts to make their comeback. When the whistle blew, it was the Current’s first win of the season and their first win on the road since the team came back to Kansas City.
The Current next travel to face the Houston Dash on March 30th before returning home to play Racing Louisville.
NWSL Challenge Cup Match Report
Match: Chicago Red Stars vs Kansas City Current
Date: March 25, 2022
Venue: SeatGeek Stadium, Bridgeview, Illinois
Kickoff: 7:37 p.m. CT / 8:37 p.m. ET
Weather: 42 degrees, cloudy
54’ Chicago Yellow Card – Wright
68’ Kansas City Yellow Card – Winebrenner
77’ Kansas City Yellow Card – Bennett
90’+1 Chicago Yellow Card – Cook
22’ Chicago – DiBernardo
58’ Kansas City – Mace (LaBonta)
86’ Kansas City – Hamilton (Mace)
Chicago: Naeher, Morse, Sharples, Milazzo, Wright (76’ Aguilera), St-Georges (59’ Mautz), DiBernardo (59’ Griffith), Colaprico, Nagasato, Pugh, Stevens (59’ Cook)
Substitutes Not Used: Boyd, Fisher, Foster, McManus
Kansas City: Franch, Mace, Loera (45’ Elizabeth Ball), Winebrenner, Edmonds, Mewis (45’ Kate Del Fava), Scott, Curran, McCain (71’ Elyse Bennett), LaBonta (90’+1 Taylor Leach), Hamilton
Substitutes Not Used: Johnson, Miller, Nolf, Schneider