If last Friday’s shutout was the start of a turnaround, then Thursday’s victory against the Boston Breakers suggests that the defending National Women’s Soccer League champions are headed in the right direction.
At least that is what FC Kansas City coach Vlatko Andonovski wants to believe.
The Blues worked around two equalizers for a 3-2 victory at Harvard’s Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium and improved to 5-5-2. Erika Tymrak’s brace and Shea Groom’s goal secured the team’s second straight three-goal game after scoring just three goals in the previous five.
“The last couple weeks we have been talking about mentality and attitude, and that is what we changed,” Andonovski said. “We are very happy with the way they are performing.”
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Just 26 seconds into the match, Tymrak picked up an assist from Groom to give the Blues the early lead. It was her first goal of the season after scoring four and adding four assists in 2014.
The lead was erased almost as quickly with Lee’s Summit native and former Blues forward Morgan Marlborough’s goal, which came in the third minute. She collected a rebound that ricocheted off Blues goal keeper Katelyn Rowland. It was the first goal surrendered by Rowland across two professional starts.
Tymrak took it upon herself to regain the lead, sending a rebound past Jami-Ann Kranich for her second goal. Groom was credited with another assist.
Kristie Mewis, another former FC Kansas City player, tied the score again with a rocket off her left foot from the top of the box. It was her second goal of the series this season.
Groom’s 78th-minute goal bounced off the post and into the net from the left side. It was the third goal in as many games for the Liberty graduate, who left the game moments later after colliding with the Boston goalkeeper. She fell to the pitch clutching her right ankle. She is leading the team with four goals in 12 games.
“She is a little injured, and we will see how she feels tomorrow morning,” Andonovski said. “Obviously we don’t want that to happen, but especially with the kind of game she had with two assists and a goal.”
FC Kansas City rookie Caroline Kastor, a Wichita native who played for the University of Kansas, made her first start of the season. It was her eighth appearance.
The Blues moved their next home match, which is against the Houston Dash, to 7 p.m. on July 20. It was originally scheduled on the 15th, but was moved to allow time for the U.S. Women’s National Team players to return. FIFA Women’s World Cup champions Becky Sauerbrunn, Lauren Holiday, Amy Rodriguez and Heather O’Reilly will be available for the Blues, and Carli Lloyd, Meghan Klingenberg and Morgan Brian will be available for the Dash.
FC Kansas City 3
FC Kansas City
FC KANSAS CITY: Katelyn Rowland, Caroline Kastor (Sarah Hagen, 55th), Frances Silva, Yael Averbuch, Jen Buczkowski, Mandy Laddish, Erika Tymrak (Elizabeth Bogus 91st+), Amy LePeilbet, Rebecca Moros, Leigh Ann Robinson, Shea Groom (Meghan Linsenby, 83rd).
BOSTON: Jami-Ann Kranich, Morgan Marlborough (Rachel Wood, 60th), Stephanie McCaffrey (Riley Houle 71st), Amy Barczuk, Kristie Mewis, Kathryn Schoepfer (Bia Silva, 51st), Maddy Evans, Kassey Kallman, Julie King, Lauren Lazo, Mollie Pathman.
FC Kansas City: 1, Tymrak, 1st minute; 3, Tymrak (Groom), 45th minute; 5, Groom (Buczkowski), 79th minute. Boston: 2, Marlborough, 3rd minute; 4, Mewis, 60th minute.
Shots on goal
FC Kansas City: Frances Silva, 93rd+ minute.
FC Kansas City: None.
Referee: Margaret Domka.
Assistant referee: Adrienne McDonald.
Assistant referee: Michael Dee.
4th official: Ian MacKay.
Announced attendance: 2,525.