NORMAL, Ill. – The UMKC women’s soccer team (4-6-1) came up short in Friday night’s game against reigning Missouri Valley Conference champion Illinois State (4-5-2), falling by a final score of 1-0.
UMKC struggled to find a rhythm on the offensive end throughout the entire match, an unfamiliar sight for a team that had scored a total of six goals in their previous two contests. Illinois State outshot the Roos 19-11 and held a 5-0 advantage in corner kicks in the game.
The Roos were content to play a conservative style in the first half, sticking with a defensive strategy and looking for long stretch passes to ignite the scoring. UMKC had opportunities to crack the scoreboard on multiple occasions, however, but were simply unable to capitalize like they had in previous matches.
Defense was exceptional for both sides in the contest but Illinois State was able to break through late in the first period to take control of the game. Redbirds forward Hannah Rodgers broke the scoreless tie on Local Heroes Night, a special night for her as her brother served in the armed forces. Rodgers’ attempt was delivered between two contesting Roos defenders to the right side of the net past goalkeeper Anna Lillig (Kansas City, Mo.) at the 32:01 mark.
The goal would be the only one allowed by Lillig in the game. The junior goalkeeper was fantastic throughout the match, making several terrific stops on her way to ten saves on the night.
The struggles continued for UMKC in the second half as they were unable to gain any traction on their attack. Illinois State was able to maintain possession in Roos territory to minimize UMKC’s chances of mounting a late surge.
The Roos continued to fight as the clock ticked down to the final minutes of play but were unable to find the equalizer. Their best look came from a charging Reighan Childers (Grain Valley, Mo.) who forced her way entirely through the Redbirds defensive line but played the ball too far ahead into the arms of goalkeeper Haley Smith.
“We didn’t have our best game tonight and we have played at a higher level,” commented head coach Chris Cissell. “Giving up one goal on the road to a good Missouri Valley Conference team is certainly a quality effort but we had too many scoring chances that we should’ve been able to convert on and weren’t able to.”
UMKC will look to rebound with a match against Indiana State on Sunday, Oct. 1 to wrap up the road trip in the last nonconference game of the season. The match is set for 12 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on The Valley on ESPN along with having Live Stats available.
– UMKC –