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Brace from Banini gives Spirit three points in KC

The Washington Spirit hit the road Saturday night for the first time in over a month. After winning three of four games at home, the Spirit traveled to Kansas City for the second match between the two sides in two weeks. Thanks to two goals from forward Estefania Banini and one goal from midfielder Joanna Lohman, the Spirit was able to hold on for a 3-2 win over FCKC.

With halftime fast approaching, it appeared as if the teams would go into the break all tied up at zero. But three minutes into stoppage time, midfielder Christine Nairn played a free kick into the FCKC box. The ball was cleared to the back side of the box and right to the feet of Banini. The Argentinian maneuvered her way around the FCKC defense and slotted the ball past the outstretched arms of Kansas City goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart.

In the 59th minute, Nairn played a corner into a swarm in the Kansas City box. As the ball bounced inside the six yard box, Whitney Church, Estelle Johnson, Francisca Ordega and Megan Oyster all had chances at it before the ball bounced to a waiting Lohman. Lohman got a piece of the ball and was able to put it in the back of the net.

Banini’s second goal would come in the 83rd minute off of a Nairn corner kick. After a header by Yael Averbuch cleared the ball to the top of the 18 yard box, Banini rocketed a volley into the top corner to ultimately close out the game for the Spirit.

After shutting out the opposition for two straight games, the Spirit conceded two goals late in the second half. The first goal came in the 69th minute when Frances Silva headed home an Erika Tymrak corner. Silva’s goal cut the Spirit’s lead to 2-1 with just over 20 minutes to play. Late in stoppage time, Shea Groom got another goal back for Kansas City, but the comeback would fall just short.

The Spirit will travel to New Jersey next Saturday to take on Sky Blue FC. In two games this season, both teams have won on the road with Sky Blue taking the most recent meeting, 2-1. Washington will return to the Maryland SoccerPlex on July 30 to take on Sky Blue in the final meeting of the year.

 

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