The Kansas City Current (9-5-6, 33pts, T-4th place) hosted the Washington Spirit in the final home game of the regular season at Children’s Mercy Park. For the Current, a win over Washington Sunday would secure a playoff spot for the first time in franchise history. While the Current could not catapult to first place again due to the Portland Thorns’ 38 points, a win would continue building on one of the greatest season-to-season turnarounds in the history of the NWSL after finishing in last place in 2021.
A strong first half performance would give the Current a 3-0 lead at halftime. Goals by Lo’eau LaBonta, Cece Kizer, and Claire Lavogez put Kansas City in strong position to clinch that playoff spot.
The Current, putting pressure on the Spirit from the start of the game, scored first in the 18th minute with LaBonta sending a right-footed shot from outside the box into the top right corner of the goal after a cross from Kate Del Fava. Del Fava had beat her defender to cross the ball to LaBonta. LaBonta’s goal would be her seventh of the 2022 season.
THE CELLY QUEEN STRIKES AGAIN!!!@L0momma | @thekccurrent pic.twitter.com/JFHLgOl1Gs— National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL) September 25, 2022
Kansas City could have extended their lead again quickly, but two goals were disallowed due to offside calls. The two disallowed goals would not deter the Current, and they were able to score back-to-back goals in the 38’ and 41’ minutes. Kizer scored her seventh goal of the season in the 38’ minute, and Lavogez helped extend the KC lead to three in the 41’ minute.
In the 38’ minute, after a corner kick, Kizer’s close range shot attempt sneaked past the Spirit defense, giving KC the 2-0 lead.
THIS IS OUR FAVORITE SONG ✋ @cecekizer | #TealRising pic.twitter.com/0Fl1FhOIxh— KC Current (@thekccurrent) September 25, 2022
In the 41’ minute, a build up from the back led to Kristen Hamilton dribbling to the final third where she passed to Lavogez who scored, extending the Current’s lead 3-0.
ROW ROW ROW YOUR BOAT TO ANOTHER GOAL!@thekccurrent | #TealRising pic.twitter.com/GedwwV0cRc— National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL) September 25, 2022
The second half slowed down, and the scored remained at 3-0 until the end of regulation. The three goals would be enough for the Current as the team officially clinched a playoff spot for the first time in club history.