FC Kansas City’s Nicole Barnhart is the National Women’s Soccer League goalkeeper of the week after a 14-save performance on the road. In FCKC’s 1-0 win at Western New York Saturday, the Flash fired a franchise-record 24 shots at Barnhart, 14 of them on goal.
Those 14 saves from Barnhart helped maintain her fifth clean sheet of the year, as well as a much-needed three points on the road for the Blues.
Western New York has been one of the most prolific offenses in the league this season, scoring seven more goals (26) than any other team. The Flash also has the league’s top two individual goal-scorers, Lynn Williams (seven) and Jessica McDonald.
Both kept Barnhart active all night. Williams forced her into a diving save in the 37th minute after she collected a pass in the box and shot from nearly point-blank range. Five minutes later, Barnhart slid to prevent another Williams shot, that time off a breakaway.
In the 49th minute, Barnhart barely tapped a McDonald header over the crossbar, then saved the shot off the rebound as well. The pattern continued throughout the rest of the game, with Western New York failing to break through Barnhart’s wall for the equalizer.
Barnhart has been a steadying presence for FCKC, and has spent all four NWSL seasons in Kansas City. She also has 54 caps with the U.S. women’s national team and was a backup goalkeeper for the 2008 and 2012 Olympic teams, and the 2011 World Cup team.