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Coming off a three-week break, Kansas City NWSL was unable to begin the final six-game stretch of the regular season with a win, falling to the Washington Spirit 2-1 Sunday at Segra Field in Leesburg, Virginia.
KC NWSL (2-12-5) seemingly could’ve scored as many as four first-half goals but managed just one, courtesy of Darian Jenkins.
She opened the scoring in the eighth minute when she cut inside the right corner of the 18-yard box before curling in a left-footed shot past the near post.
But a slew of missed chances throughout the first half, including one from Jenkins and a pair from Kristen Edmonds and Kristen Hamilton, came back to bite KC.
“We definitely probably should’ve deserved to score more than one goal in that first half,” coach Huw Williams said.
On the stroke of halftime, KC defender Kiki Pickett was deemed to have pulled down Washington’s Kelley O’Hara from behind as the latter tried to control a pass in KC’s penalty box.
Washington’s Andi Sullivan made the ensuing penalty to tie the game on the final play of the first half.
It then took just three passes following the second-half kickoff for Washington to take the lead.
A quick pass off the kickoff, followed by two forward passes, allowed Spirit halftime substitute Tara McKeown to take on two KC defenders and fire into AD Franch’s bottom corner.
“We created and played some good stuff in the first half and then kind of lost focus a little bit,” Williams said. “Disappointed at the result, I thought we did enough to win it.”
Kansas City hosts the Houston Dash Saturday at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kan.