FC Kansas City still in playoff hunt after 4-1 win over Sky Blue FC
Groom's brace helps the Blues avoid being eliminated from playoff contention
Sydney Leroux and Shea Groom celebrate for FC Kansas City. (Photo credit: Amy Kontras/isiphotos.com)
Sydney Leroux and Shea Groom celebrate for FC Kansas City. (Photo credit: Amy Kontras/isiphotos.com)

FC Kansas City kept their playoff hopes alive Sunday night with a 4-1 win over Sky Blue FC in front of a home crowd of 1,571 at Children’s Mercy Victory Field in Kansas City, Missouri.


The Red Stars and Pride won this weekend, which meant the Blues needed a win or else they would’ve been eliminated. FC Kansas City’s win also means that the Thorns have clinched a playoff spot.


With the win, FC Kansas City improves to 7-9-5 with 26 points. Sky Blue FC falls to 9-10-2 with 29 points.


Forward Shea Groom scored twice and added an assist in the win. Sky Blue FC forward Sam Kerr, in search of her record-breaking 17th goal of the season, was kept off the scoreboard.


FC Kansas City midfielder Lo’eau LaBonta opened the scoring for FC Kansas City with her second NWSL goal — and second in as many games — in the 39th minute. After a long punt by Barnhart was won by Sydney Leroux in midfield and headed on towards goal, Groom picked it up, and played it across the face of the goal. LaBonta slid in to hit it past Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan to make it 1-0.

Groom would get a goal of her own, her first of the match, just five minutes later — this time, on an assist from LaBonta. Following another long kick from Barnhart, the ball bounced to LaBonta at midfield. With her back to goal, LaBonta kicked the ball over her head and into the path of Groom. Groom dribbled towards the goal before launching a bending right-footed strike from inside the penalty box that beat Sheridan to the left side of the goal.

Groom picked up her brace in the 64th minute and made the score 3-0. Midfielder Desiree Scott flicked a pass to Groom on the far side of the goal. Groom’s initial shot was saved by Sheridan, but Groom jumped on the rebound for the goal.

Two months ago, FC Kansas City conceded a 2-0 lead to Sky Blue and Kerr, allowing Kerr to score a 12-minute hat trick in a comeback win. But Sunday night in Kansas City, the Blues only allowed Sky Blue one goal — to Madison Tiernan in the 83rd minute. Tiernan headed in a corner kick taken by Taylor Lytle.

There would be no late comeback for Sky Blue, and Sydney Leroux made sure of it, scoring in the fourth minute of stoppage time to make it 4-1 after a quick restart taken by Maegan Kelly.

FC Kansas City’s Nicole Barnhart became the first goalkeeper to reach 100 games in the NWSL.


FC Kansas City will next host the Chicago Red Stars on Saturday afternoon. Sky Blue FC will host the Washington Spirit on Sunday.



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