Match Report: Hailie Mace scores late as Kansas City Current  secure hard-fought draw against Portland Kansas City Current

Match Report: Hailie Mace scores late as Kansas City Current secure hard-fought draw against Portland

The Kansas City Current (9-5-6, 33pts, T-2nd place) finished a stretch of three matches in eight days with a dramatic 1-1 draw against the Portland Thorns (8-3-8, 32pts, 4th place) at Children’s Mercy Park Sunday afternoon. Both squads scored extremely late to secure the result, and Portland opened the scoring with a goal from forward Rocky Rodriguez in the 87th minute. 


As the final few moments of the match played out and a second consecutive loss seemed all-but certain for Kansas City, defender Hailie Mace won a foul right on top of the penalty box. Mace and fellow defender Kristen Edmonds stood over the ball and the latter rolled the ball forward for Mace to strike. Mace’s shot took a deflection off a Thorns defender and found the back of the net in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time to level the contest. Mace’s goal proved to be the last major action of Sunday’s game as the match finished all square. 

"Incredibly proud of the group, they just don’t know when they’re done,” said head coach Matt Potter. “The fight and the mentality of the group as a whole, how much they care about each other, how much they care about the people in the stands, they just want to continually drive themselves forward. And yeah, I’m incredibly proud.”

The late scoring flurry capped a match that featured nearly 40 combined shots between both sides. The Thorns finished with 28 alone, and Current goalkeeper AD Franch put together an incredible individual effort to ensure Portland stayed off the scoresheet for most of the game. Franch made her first save of the match in the seventh minute, which set the precedent for a busy afternoon for the goalkeeper. 

However, two off-target shots within the first 20 minutes of the match could’ve completely changed the trajectory of the game. In the 15th minute, Portland forward Morgan Weaver had a shot roll wide from well inside the penalty box and midfielder Yazmeen Ryan rattled the crossbar with a strike two minutes later. Franch denied Weaver in the 35th minute with a kick save and made a massive one-on-one save against Thorns forward Sophia Smith to help send the match into halftime tied at 0-0. 

Kansas City began operating on the front foot in the second half and generated multiple dangerous chances inside of the second half’s opening 15 minutes. The two best chances of the bunch came in the 59th minute, when midfielder Lo’eau LaBonta had a one-on-one opportunity saved by Thorns goalkeeper Bella Bixby. The ball was recycled and eventually fell to forward Claire Lavogez at the back post seconds later, but Lavogez couldn’t quite steer the ball home. Then came Franch’s best moments of the match, sprawling to make kick saves in the 61st and 65th minutes to deny Thorns goals. Franch finished the match with eight saves, the second highest save total she has recorded in 2022. 

Eventually Portland broke through in the 87th minute with Rodriguez’s goal. The Thorns attacker collected the ball at the top of the penalty area and fired a low shot that struck the post. The ball fell to Rodriguez for a rebound opportunity, and she slotted the ball home to open the scoring. Mace’s ensuing free kick rocket helped the Current pick up its fourth point from this week’s matches and keep pace in a crowded National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) table. 

Kansas City can secure a place in the 2022 NWSL Playoffs when the team plays its final home match of the 2022 regular season with a win over the Washington Spirit Sunday, Sept. 25 at 4 p.m. CT. 

Season Tickets and Flex plans are available for all home matches at Children’s Mercy Park. For pricing and information visit

Match: Kansas City Current vs. Portland Thorns
September 18, 2022
Venue: Children’s Mercy Park, Kansas City, Kansas
Kickoff: 4:07 p.m. CT
Weather: 91 degrees, sunny
Attendance: 9,281

73’ Kansas City – Bennett (yellow)
90+3’ Portland – Sauerbrunn (yellow)

87’ Portland – Rodriguez 
90+4’ Kansas City – Mace (Edmonds)

Scoring Summary
Goals                          1           2          F
Kansas City               
0          1           1

Portland                    0          1           1

Kansas City: 
Franch, Loera (90’ Leach), Edmonds, Merrick, Scott, Lavogez (90’ Winebrenner), LaBonta (64’ Bennett), Kizer (64’ Rodriguez), Hamilton (80’ Curran), Mace, Del Fava
Substitutes Not Used: Logarzo, McCain, Miller, Schneider

Portland: Bixby, Klingenberg, Sauerbrunn, Hubly, Kuikka, Sugita, Coffey, Weaver (90’ Everett), Sinclair (69’ Rodriguez), Ryan (69’ Beckie), S. Smith
Substitutes Not Used: Dunn, McGrady, Moultrie, Nally, Porter, A. Smith



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