KC Current shuts out Houston, 3-0, to retain first place in Central Division

The Kansas City Current continued its unbeaten run in the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup with a 3-0 win over the Houston Dash Wednesday in Texas.

Taylor Leach and Lo’eau LaBonta both scored their first goals of the season while Kristen Hamilton added a second to her tally. Goalkeeper Cassie Miller got her first start with the Current to lead the team to its first shutout in 2022.

“[Scoring first was] something we’ve talked about on reflection of the last two games if we want to be the team that we want to be,” head coach Matt Potter said. “We’ve shown that we can compete, but there’s probably a better way to do it than we have been doing it, which is obviously to try to get the first goal. Especially when we’re on the road, when you know teams are going to be the aggressor.”

Kansas City’s first goal came in the second minute, the fastest goal ever scored both in club and Challenge Cup history. Hailie Mace swung a corner kick low into the box to find Taylor Leach, who perfectly volleyed the ball past Jane Campbell into the top left corner. Mace became the all-time leader in assists in the Challenge Cup with her fifth.

In the 28th minute, defender Maddie Nolf slid a smooth pass into the box to rookie striker Elyse Bennett. Bennett chipped it over the back line to find Kristen Hamilton, who buried it in the back of the net. It was Bennett’s first start and first assist of the season.

Bennett got her second assist of the season in the second half with a calm through ball past the Houston back line. LaBonta charged past the defenders to go one-on-one with the goalkeeper and chipped it in for Kansas City’s third goal.

Kansas City’s steady defense silenced most of the Dash attack, but Cassie Miller came up big when required. In the 10th minute, Houston midfielder Makamae Gomera-Stevens found herself with the ball at the top of the 18-yard box. She launched a shot toward the left side of the goal, but Miller came up big to punch it over the crossbar.

The Kansas City Current remain undefeated in the 2022 Challenge Cup with seven points in the Central Division. The team returns home to take on Racing Louisville FC at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 2, at Children’s Mercy Park, Kansas City, Kansas.

Season tickets and flex plans are available for all home matches at Children’s Mercy Park. For ticket information, visit kansascitycurrent.com.

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