After a two-hour pregame rain delay and extended halftime which eventually led to the game being called early, FC Kansas City’s patience paid off as the Blues secured home-field advantage in the National Women’s Soccer League playoffs.
Amy Rodriguez provided a goal and an assist as the Blues powered past the Boston Breakers 2-1 in a rain-shortened game on Wednesday night at UMKC’s Durwood Stadium.
According to NWSL rules, a score stands if the first half is completed before the game is cancelled. FC Kansas City watched the Major League Soccer All-Star game and sat through an additional hour and a half of delays before NWSL officials called the game.
“We went into the game knowing that it very well could be finished after 45,” Blues defender Becky Sauerbrunn said. “Both teams played that way so it was a really open game with a lot of chances. We were really happy we came in 2-1.”
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In addition to locking up second place in the league standings, FC Kansas City also capped off an undefeated record at home. The Blues finished 8-0-4 in their first season since moving to Durwood Stadium.
Rodriguez, who missed her son Ryan’s first birthday to play in the game, provided the first goal in the eighth minute off an assist from Jenna Richmond.
Rodriguez picked up the pass on the right side and charged forward into a one-on-one with Boston goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher. She then cut around Naeher’s right side for an open tap-in to put the Blues up 1-0. It was her 13th goal of the season.
The lead did not last long as Blues defender Kassey Kallman was called for a foul in the box which led to a Boston penalty kick. Heather O’Reilly stepped up and knocked the ball past FC Kansas City goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart to equalize.
Rodriguez came through with the answer when she set up Sarah Hagen for a goal from the left side. Hagen’s shot bounced off the far goal post and past a diving Naeher to re-capture the lead in the 26th minute. It was Rodriguez’s third assist and Hagen’s fourth goal in eight games since joining the Blues.