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Kansas City Head to The Finals

By J.J. Pavlick


It didn’t take long for KC Current to find the back of the net; Alexis Loera fired a shot into the lower left corner to give her side the lead in the 4’ of action. Megan Rapinoe, trying to equalize, drew a free kick a minute later but the Current played the ball out of danger without trouble. In the 20’ Rapinoe finds Rosie LaVelle open to the left of the goal, but her header goes just wide of the near post for a goal kick. Rapinoe tries again a goal seconds later, but her shot is blocked by the defenders in front of the goal and is easy save for Adrianna Franch. In the 25’ Loera goes for the brace, but her shot goes high and into the stands from 18 yards out. The Reign responded right back and Huitema didn’t miss by a lot, firing a missile just wide of the post. A few minutes later the Reign earns a corner kick, Rapinoe takes the corner, and her cross is quickly played out of danger by Elizabeth Ball of the Current. Both Goalkeepers came up big in the 31’, with huge saves to help their teams. In the 39’ Rapinoe finds Bethany Balcer, her shot is saved by Franch at the far post. C. Kizer of the Current went down with an apparent injury, she was able to walk off under her own power which is a good sign. She is being evaluated for a head injury near the tunnel. The Current decided to stay a player down while Kizer continues to be evaluated by medical staff. Now she is replaced by Bennet in the 45th minute, under the concussion sub-rule, so back to 11 v 11 play on the pitch. With the sub-rule for concussions, this sub will not count against the Currents total subs allowed per match. Fishlock with a blast from distance but hits the crossbar and stays out. The 4th official indicates a minimum of 3’ will be added to the half. In the 45’+2 Rapinoe finds Fishlock off the corner, saved by Franch. That’s it, the center blows her whistle to end the 1st half of play.

The Reign went down early in the 1st half and still have been unable to find an equalizer. Loera the goal scorer at halftime says “We’re very familiar with them after playing them in the regular season and our coaching staff did a great job preparing us for this match. It doesn’t surprise me that we are leading the match at the end of the 1st half.” So far, it’s been a fairly even match, the Reign are struggling to finish off their opportunities today, however, the Currents rookie Loera converted her chance and seems to be playing with a ton of confidence, not feeling the pressure of the big game.

The 2nd half is underway in Seattle, the Reign comes out strong but the Current refuses to break. The sides are trading counterattacks to start the 2nd half of play. The Reign continues to pepper the Current goalkeeper Franch, she continues to answer the bell. In the 61’ we remain 1-0 Current. Hamilton comes up big for the Current and blasts the shot into the lower corner of the near post from 16 yards out in the 63’. The Current now are up 2-0 and the Reign need to answer soon if they want any chance at advancing to the league Finals. KC makes a substitution in the 64’, bringing on Isabel Rodriguez for Addisyn Merrick. The sub is a defensive substitution for the team to try and lock down the game and keep OL off the board. Kansas City is now pressuring OL’s backline hard the past few minutes with several solid chances to extend the lead. The Reign make a substitution in the 68’ bringing on O. Van der Jagt for B. Balcer. The rookie Loera is having herself a night, she clears the line for Franch and keeps it a 2-0 lead for the Current. Franch is down in the box on her end, she collided with Loera on the last save. She is holding her head but says she is ok, the center checks on her quickly before restarting the match in the 78’. Things are not looking good for the shield-holding Reign, in the 84’ the Current still holds a 2-goal lead. Kansas City brought on Taylor Leach for the rookie sensation Alexis Loera and now they added one more sub bringing on Chardonnay Curran for Lo’eau LaBonta. In 88’, the Reign brings on Nikki Stanton and Phoebe McClearnon, for Quinn and Lauren Barnes. The fourth official indicates a minimum of 5’ will be added to the 2nd half. That’s it the final whistle is blown, and KC is going to join Portland in Washington, D.C.!

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