In their fourth consecutive home match, the Kansas City Current took on the Chicago Red Stars for the first time this regular season on a steamy Saturday night. The teams met twice during the NWSL Challenge Cup in the preseason tournament with the Current winning both of those matches. Both Challenge Cup matches ended with 2-1 scores in favor of Kansas City. Forward Kristen Hamilton (two goals), defender Alex Loera, and defender Hailie Mace were all goal scorers against Chicago while defender Bianca St.-Georges and midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo scored for the Red Stars in the Challenge Cup matches.
Coming into the match, the Current injury report looked the same as it did in the previous match with season ending injuries for Lynn Williams and Mallory Weber. Chloe Logarzo, Sam Mewis and Jenna Winebrenner are all out with leg injuries.
The Current starting lineup had AD Franch back in goal after Cassie Miller got the start in the last match. The remainder of the starting lineup was unchanged from the last match against New York/New Jersey Gotham that resulted in a 1-0 Current victory.
Cece Kizer made a great run in the 7th minute. She passed the ball in to Hamilton who sent it back to Kizer. The Chicago keeper, Alyssa Naeher, had to make a stop on Kizer’s shot in the box. The blocked shot led to the Current’s first corner kick of the evening. The corner was taken short with Pickett given it to Mace. Mace sent the perfectly weighted ball into the box. The ball made its way to Hamilton who flicked the ball into the net to give Kansas City a 1-0 lead early in the match. The goal was Hamilton’s fourth, a Kansas City Current record for goals in a season.
Elizabeth Ball took a ball to the face off of a Chicago shot in the box. After a long time down on the pitch being attended to by the training staff, she was able to slowly walk off on her own. She was replaced in the 25th minute by Addisyn Merrick.
Ball’s injury time and the hydration break due to the high temperatures led to an additional eight minutes added to the end of first half regulation time. Neither team was able to take advantage of the additional time and the Current headed to halftime with a 1-0 lead.
The Current made one change to start the second half. Elyse Bennett entered the match replacing Victoria Pickett.
Chicago took their first corner of the second half in the 53rd minute. The delivery from Mallory Pugh found Amanda Kowalski for a header into the back of the net to level the match at 1-1.
In the 58th minute of the match Chicago is awarded a PK when Desiree Scott is called for a foul in the box. Mallory Pugh took the penalty. Franch dove the wrong way and Chicago took a 2-1 lead.
The Current didn’t let getting behind get them down. In the 68th minute LaBonta takes the ball from Chicago at midfield. The ball finds its way to Elyse Bennett who sends it Cece Kizer. Kizer was alone with three Chicago defenders, but scored a big time goal to equalize the match at 2-2. The goal was Kizer’s first with the Current in just her second appearance.
Kansas City had a final opportunity to take all three points on a corner kick in stoppage time, but the attempt did not lead to a goal. Mal Pugh took the ball down field try to put the Red Stars on top, but Kansas City’s defense hustled downfield and denied a goal.
That flurry of activity was the final action of the match and the whistle blew with a final score of 2-2. The Current are unbeaten in their last 4 matches and will look to continue that unbeaten streak after a short break. They return to action July 1 when they travel to take on the Houston Dash.