Christine Nairn tallied a pair of goals and Washington scored three straight goals top defending champions FC Kansas City, 3-1, in its home opener.
Nairn notched her first after she took a pass from Angela Salem and blasted a laser from 30 yards out past goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart. That goal tied the game in the 9th minute. The Annapolis, Md., native earned her second of the night following a foul from Amy LePeilbert at the top of the box. Nairn’s left-footed free kick curled over the wall, struck the underside of the crossbar and bounced in past Barnhart in the 65th minute.
Crystal Dunn, who was one of the final two cuts on Jill Ellis’ World Cup roster, found the back of the net right at the start of the second half. After winning the ball from Kansas City midfielder Jen Buczkowski in the Blues’ midfield, Dunn took off down the field and played a pass for Laura del Rio on the right side. Del Rio played the ball across the face of goal and Dunn slid in to poke it into the back of the net at the far post.
In the opening half, the Spirit faced a barrage of shots, as FC Kansas City had 14 shots in the opening 45 minutes of play. Spirit goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris made two key saves in the 13th and 15th minute to keep the score level and finished the first half with three overall. The Spirit also conceded nine corner kicks, but the visitors were unable to convert.
Kansas City opened the scoring in the 6th minute off of midfielder Heather O’Reilly’s first goal with the Blues. After receiving a pass from Lauren Holiday, O’Reilly sent a right footed chip to the far upper corner from six yards out.
The loss gives the defending champions an 0-2 start to the season and things don’t get easier for the Blues.
NEXT UP: FC Kansas City will return home for a rematch of the 2014 NWSL Championship game on Thursday, April 23. Washington will step away from the friendly grounds of the Maryland Soccerplex when they head north to face off against Sky Blue on Sunday, April 26.
Washington Spirit (1-1-0, 3 pts) vs. FC Kansas City (0-2-0, 0 pts)
Saturday, April 18, 2015 – Maureen Hendricks Field (Boyds, MD)
GOALS 1 2 F
FC Kansas City 1 0 0
Washington Spirit 1 2 3
FCKC: Heather O’Reilly (Lauren Holiday), 5
WAS: Christine Nairn (Angela Salem), 9
WAS: Crystal Dunn (Laura Del Rio), 46
WAS: Christine Nairn, 65
WAS: Tori Huster (Caution), 27
WAS: Angela Salem (Caution), 56
FCKC: Amy LePeilbet (Caution), 64
FCKC: Shea Groom (Caution), 95
WASH: Ashlyn Harris; Katherine Reynolds, Megan Oyster, Estelle Johnson, Alex Singer (Amanda Da Costa 77′); Tori Huster, Angela Salem, Christine Nairn (Joanna Lohman 68′); Crystal Dunn, Laura del Rio, Estefania Banini (Francisca Ordega 60′)
FCKC: Nicole Barnhart; Rebecca Moros (Sarah Hagen 71′), Becky Sauerbrunn, Amy LePeilbet, Leigh Ann Robinson; Jen Buczkowski, Yael Averbuch (Shea Groom 82′), Erika Tymrak (Liz Bogus 71′); Lauren Holiday, Amy Rodriguez