Hamilton scores late game-winner against Gotham

Forward CeCe Kizer burst her way between two Gotham defenders for a chance on goal. Kizer is now playing for her hometown team after last week’s trade from her previous club, Racing Louisville FC. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)

by Brian Turrel

Kansas City Current forward Kristen Hamilton broke open a scoreless tie against NJ-NY Gotham FC in the 84th minute to earn a 1-0 win for the home team in Saturday evening’s match at Children’s Mercy Park.

Defender Izzy Rodriguez, on as a substitute just two minutes prior, made a push up the left wing and then fed the ball back to Hamilton who was unmarked and charging up the middle. Hamilton drilled a one-touch left-footed shot into the lower right corner of the goal from about 15 yards out.

The game marked a homecoming for Overland Park native CeCe Kizer. Acquired by the Current in a trade last week with Racing Louisville, Kizer debuted in the starting lineup and played 60 minutes.

Kizer’s speed at the top of Kansas City’s formation opened up a new dimension for the offense and paired well with Hamilton. A well-executed build-up in the first half among Kizer, Hamilton, Kate Del Fava and Lo’eau LaBonta produced a great scoring opportunity.

Defender Addisyn Merrick, of Lee’s Summit, was also acquired in the Louisville trade and came on as a substitute in the 61st minute.

Reserve goalkeeper Cassie Miller started for the the Current, and registered three saves, including a great fingertip save that deflected Paige Monaghan’s shot onto the post  in the 43rd minute.

After losing four of its first five matches, the Current has now won two of the last three. Kansas City will be back on the Children’s Mercy Park pitch next Saturday against the Chicago Red Stars.

Forward Kristen Hamilton encountered some fierce resistance from Gotham defender Mandy Freeman but got no help from referee Samantha Martinez. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)
Zeke the Wonder Dog made a running leap off his handler’s shoulders to catch a Frisbee in mid-air. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)
Midfielder Kate Del Fava looked for a way past Gotham defender Imani Dorsey. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)
Midfielder Lo’eau LaBonta went all out to get off a shot just outside the Gotham 6-yard box. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)
Midfielder Victoria Pickett hurdled the leg of Gotham defender Imani Dorsey to continue her run at the goal. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)
Forward Elyse Bennett crossed the ball in front of the Gotham goal. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)
Team captain Desiree Scott signed a jersey for a fan after the match. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)