VERMILLION, S.D. – The UMKC women’s soccer team (8-3) erased a 1-0 halftime deficit with three second half goals and a score in the final minute of regulation, coming away with a 3-2 win over South Dakota (5-3-2) in their last nonconference match of the season.
UMKC put together a strong first half performance as they dominated possession for the majority of the period. Despite outshooting the Coyotes 9-3 while holding a 5-2 edge in shots on goal and a 5-1 advantage in corner kicks, the Roos were unable to crack the scoreboard.
Back to back saves made on shots by Abby Small (Kansas City, Mo.) and Lexie Howard (Kearney, Mo.) with under 10 minutes remaining in the half both served as tremendous scoring opportunities for the Roos but USD keeper Catalina Suarez came up with a pair of big saves to keep UMKC off the board. In the 41’, USD would strike for the opening goal of the match, as Taylor Cotter gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead that would hold until the halftime break.
The Roos continued to grind in the second half of play, trading attacks with USD in tightly contested fashion. Afton Fennewald (Lake Winnebago, Mo.) started her fourth straight game between the posts and came up with a pair of big saves early in the second half to keep UMKC within striking distance. Fennewald finished the match with three saves.
UMKC would finally see their sustained effort pay off mid-way through the second period as senior midfielder Reighan Childers (Grain Valley, Mo.) struck for an equalizing goal at the 71:29 mark. The score came by way of a tough run into the box by Kelsey Mothershead (Smithville, Mo.) who delivered a nifty pass to Childers who quickly redirected the ball under Suarez to even up the score.
“I am very proud of the way our entire team continued to battle and press forward throughout the match today,” commented head coach Chris Cissell. “Reighan obviously put together a great effort with two goals and an assist but I thought the effort from every player on the field was terrific.”
In the waning minutes of the second half, it was Childers once again who would come up in a major way for the Roos. With just over 90 seconds to play, Childers fired in a missile from 25 yards out to shake the net for a 2-1 lead with little time remaining. Her second goal of the game was Childers’ fourth of the season.
With the match seemingly decided, USD came up with an equalizing goal to put the outcome in jeopardy once more as Joana Zanin delivered a score with less than 30 seconds remaining in regulation. UMKC immediately answered with an improbable late score of their own, as the younger Childers sister, Rylan Childers (Grain Valley, Mo.) collected a corner kick sent in by her elder sibling and delivered the game-winning goal with just seven seconds left to play. The goal was Childers’ third of the season and gave the team a 3-2 advantage, which would hold until the final whistle.
“Very excited that we were able to walk out with a win today on the road against a talented South Dakota team coming off a big win in their last time out,” noted Cissell. “Today was a tremendous display of grit and fortitude for our team as they continued to fight literally down to the last second to come out on top.”
On paper, the match looked fairly one-sided with UMKC holding advantages in shots (18-8), shots on goal (11-5) and corner kicks (8-2) despite the team needing some late heroics to come away with a victory. The win wraps up an impressive nonconference performance, posting a program-best 8-3 record against a slew of high-major opponents.
The Roos will remain on the road for a third consecutive game as they open up Western Athletic Conference (WAC) play on Friday, Sep. 28 against UT Rio Grande Valley. The team will return to Durwood Stadium on Sunday, Sep. 30 when they host CSU Bakersfield for the 2018 conference home-opener.
– UMKC –