MANHATTAN, Kan. – The UMKC women’s soccer team (5-2) erased a three-goal deficit on the road Friday night at Kansas State (3-2-1), using a pair of second half scores to claim a 3-2 victory, the program’s first win over a Power-Five opponent.
The opening minutes of action saw the Roos quickly fall behind the eight-ball as Kansas State struck for a pair of early goals. The Wildcats shook the net for the first time a mere 18 seconds into the contest on a shot from the left side from 14 yards out past freshman goalkeeper Afton Fennewald (Lake Winnebago, Mo.).
Kansas State added on to their early lead in the 8’ as a pass into the box avoided Fennewald, vacating the net in an attempt to safely corral the ball, and was tapped in by Tatum Wagner for a 2-0 advantage.
From that point forward, the entire UMKC group banded together in showing a tremendous amount of resiliency as they slowly battled their way back. The first step in the comeback effort came at the 26:48 mark as Lexie Howard (Kearney, Mo.) sent in a beautiful pass to fellow senior Kelsey Mothershead (Smithville, Mo.) in the box, where Mothershead tapped the ball past the keeper to put the Roos on the board.
“There are no words to describe how proud I am of our team and the resolve they showed tonight,” commented head coach Chris Cissell. “To be down 2-0 so early in the match on the road against a Power-Five team, and to battle together to come up with the win is impressive.”
There were plenty more fireworks in store for Mothershead as the match continued. After exiting the halftime break trailing 2-1, the team’s leader in goals struck again a little over three minutes into the second period. A long deflection was gathered by Mothershead who quickly fired in a shot to the open net from 20 yards out to even up the score in the 49’.
Moments later, Mothershead capped off her stellar night with her third game-winning goal of the 2018 season. UMKC found themselves with an excellent scoring chance in a three-on-one breakaway, where Howard sent over a pass to Mothershead on her team-best fifth assist of the season. Wasting little time, Mothershead fired in a bullet from 18 yards out to rattle the net for a deciding 3-2 advantage.
The phenomenal three-goal effort was the second career hat trick for Mothershead. With an exceptional nine goals already in the 2018 campaign, the local product leads the entire NCAA in goals scored.
"Kelsey obviously put together a terrific performance tonight and we are very proud of what she accomplished,” noted Cissell. “At the end of the day, taking home a win against such a talented opponent on the road, particularly after falling behind early, takes an entire team effort. Every player did their job tonight and showed great toughness in grinding it out, and I am ecstatic in all of their efforts.”
UMKC returns home to face Creighton on Monday, Sep. 10 to continue their 2018 schedule. The contest is set for 7 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on the WAC Digital Network.
– UMKC –