Kansas, KS – In chilly April temperatures, the Red Stars got off to a slow start on their first road trip of the season to Kansas City, dropping a 1-0 contest after a 9th minute goal by Kansas City’s Amy Rodriguez, assisted by Jen Buczkowski. The Red Stars fall to 1-2-0 on the season while FCKC earns their first win and improves to 1-2-1 on the year.
“Tough game and tough road trip,” said Red Stars Captain Lori Chalupny. “But we know the things we need to work on over the coming weeks and although we’ve improved on some we haven’t put the whole puzzle together.”
“Our defense is playing well but obviously we have to start scoring some goals.”
The Red Stars approached the match with a very altered starting line-up from their previous match on Saturday in Chicago. New to the starters were defenders Samantha Johnson and Kecia Morway, as well as midfielder Zakiya Bywaters. But the wear of 2 matches in 5 days proved to be too much for the Red Stars in the early going.
After an even start, FC Kansas City got the go-ahead goal when midfielder Jen Buczkowski broke free on the right side and was able to pull LeBlanc towards the edge of the box. She played a simple ground pass to forward Amy Rodriguez who tapped the ball into an open net and put the home side up 1-0 in the 9th minute.
The “Blues” would continue their attack the next 15 minutes, seeing two defensive crosses, first by Kallman in the 16th minute and followed by a more dangerous play from Leigh Ann Robinson in the 17th when she sent a ball to Rodriguez who put her shot right at LeBlanc.
The Red Stars came back to life after the 30th minute as defender Michelle Wenino picked up several tackles on the right side and sent them across goal, but no one was able to connect on them in spite of the dangerous positioning.
The Red Stars added Alyssa Mautz at the half, coming on for fellow midfielder Adriana Leon, and the team put together some solid attacks to start the second 45. The Red Stars put FCKC on their heels after the 55th minute, when they had several looks at goal including a dangerous Lori Chalupny blast from 20 yards that went just wide of goal in the 61st minute.
Team captain Chalupny was again threatening in the 75th minute when she played a low cross into Mautz who broke through two FCKC defenders and an on-rushing Barnhart, but Mautz’s deflection pushed to the side and she wasn’t able to redirect the ball into the net.
Chicago continued to put heavy pressure on Kansas City until the final whistle in a good second half effort, but just like their last match against Washington Spirit, the Red Stars weren’t able to find a tying goal.
“Our first half performance was unacceptable,” said Head Coach Rory Dames after the match. “We owe Red Stars fans an apology and it won’t happen again.”
The Red Stars next match is a trip to New Jersey to meet Sky Blue FC on Wednesday, May 7th. They will then return home for a Mother’s Day tilt with expansion side Houston Dash on Sunday, May 11th. All moms get in free with an accompanying paid ticket. Visit chicagoredstars.com for more information or call 773-697-8699/email firstname.lastname@example.org.