KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the first time since the 2011 season, the UMKC men’s soccer team came out on top in its annual crosstown showdown against Rockhurst at Durwood Soccer Stadium on Sunday.
A goal scored by Pandelis Popgeorgiev (Budapest, Hungary) in the 83rd minute of the match helped UMKC finish exhibition play undefeated after the Roos topped Saint Louis, 3-0, last Saturday.
The Roos pushed the ball offensively and maintained possession for a majority of the first half, putting pressure on the Rockhurst defense. Senior Eric McWoods (St. Louis, Mo.) charged at his defender at the six-minute mark of the match and nearly lost his legs from beneath him when he got UMKC’s first shot off.
The Hawks registered their first shot in the 25th minute of the match, as Rockhurst’s Kaleb Jackson sent the ball just wide of the goal.
In the 32nd minute, McWoods once again nearly lost his footing before catching himself and setting up a one-on-one situation with the Hawks goalkeeper. Drawing the keeper out, McWoods drilled the ball into the back right corner of the net to put the Roos out on top. The goal by McWoods marked the captain’s third of the preseason.
The battle continued into the second half, but a header by Rockhurst’s Andrew Patke off of a corner kick knotted the game at one-all in the 81st minute.
Moments later, Henry Ramirez (Costa Mesa, Calif.) broke free from his Hawks defender, finding a charging Popgeorgiev running down the near side of the pitch. Popgeorgiev turned and punched the ball inside the post and into the back of the net to give UMKC the lead with less than seven minutes to go.
Rockhurst had its final chance in the 86th minute after taking a corner kick, but the Roos held their ground to secure the 2-1 victory.
UMKC will look to continue its winning ways when it begins the regular season at Central Arkansas on Aug. 25 at 8:30 p.m. CT, before returning to Durwood Soccer Stadium for its longest home stand of the season on Aug. 27.
– UMKC –