KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC women’s soccer team (8-3) opens Western Athletic Conference (WAC) play this weekend with a road match at UT Rio Grande Valley on Friday, Sep. 28 at 7 p.m. CT before returning home to host CSU Bakersfield on Sunday, Sep. 30 at 2:30 p.m. CT.
Both weekend road matches will be broadcast on the WAC Digital Network and will have Live Stats available to follow along with the action. Fans can also stay updated through the team’s Twitter account for live score updates.
Live Stats: UMKC @ UT Rio Grande Valley
Live Stats: UMKC vs. CSU Bakersfield
About the Roos
UMKC marches into conference play this weekend having played just one match over the past 12 days due to a rainout at South Dakota State last weekend. Thanks to some late heroics by Rylan Childers (Grain Valley, Mo.), who scored the game-winning goal with just seven seconds left in regulation, the team picked up a victory at South Dakota, their fourth win over their previous five matches.
The club’s 8-3 record in nonconference play, the best mark in program history, has been thanks in large part to a high-powered offense that led to wins over a slew of High-Major opponents, including Kansas State, Iowa State and Creighton. UMKC leads the conference by an astounding eight scores with 25 goals on the season. The team’s 23 assists are also a conference-best, nearly double of California Baptist who ranks second with 13.
The Roos have continued to keep their foot on the pedal in recent action, recording 14 goals over their past five matches. On the season, the team has posted eight multi-goal efforts and tallied three or more scores in five contests. The team has yet to lose a match when scoring two or more goals.
Three seniors – Lexie Howard (Kearney, Mo.), Kelsey Mothershead (Smithville, Mo.) and Reighan Childers (Grain Valley, Mo.) have been the focal point of the UMKC attack in the 2018 season. The trio has combined to record 16 goals and 14 assists as conference play approaches.
Mothershead leads the WAC and ranks sixth in the NCAA with nine goals on the season while also pacing the conference with 23 points. Howard, who recently became the program’s leader in career goals and points, trails only Mothershead on the conference leaderboard with 17 points while also ranking fourth with five goals and leading the team with seven assists.
Childers, boasting two goals and five assists on the year, has heated up offensively of late to go along with her stellar two-way play in the midfield. The senior midfielder has recorded a remarkable 11 points in the previous four matches, including a two-goal effort in UMKC’s most recent victory over South Dakota last weekend.
Scouting the Vaqueros
UT Rio Grande Valley (6-4-1) enters the conference opener riding a two-game win streak, following up a 3-1 victory over Texas Lutheran with a tight 1-0 home win over Omaha. The team returns eight starters from last year’s squad that finished third in the WAC with a 4-2-1 conference record.
The Vaqueros have proven to be a formidable opponent in their home stadium, posting a 4-1 mark thus far in the 2018 season. UTRGV has won their previous three home matches heading into the weekend, outscoring opponents by a 6-2 margin over the stretch.
UTRGV has been a strong second half team through the completion of nonconference play, scoring 13 of their 18 goals on the season after the halftime break while registering 102 shots compared to 60 in the first half. On the other side of the ball, the Vaqueros have allowed 38 shots on goal in the second period or later as opposed to 24 shots on goal in first periods, giving the Roos a potential area to exploit as the match approaches the later stages.
As a team, the Vaqueros have posted similar numbers to UMKC in the nonconference slate, albeit against a less challenging set of opponents. Their 18 goals rank second-most in the WAC, trailing only UMKC, as does their 1.22 goals allowed per game.
UTRGV is led offensively by a pair of forwards – Emily Zapata and Sarah Bonney – who have combined to record 11 of the team’s 18 scores and have combined for 23 points thus far in the 2018 season. Zapata ranks third in the WAC with six goals and fourth in points with 13 while Bonney trails closely with five goals, tied for fourth-most in the conference. Over the past four matches, Bonney has registered three goals and will certainly draw the attention of UMKC defenders.
Scouting the Roadrunners
After opening the 2018 campaign with three consecutive losses, CSU Bakersfield (3-8) has found more stable footing of late, winning two of their previous three matches with both victories coming in double overtime. A road matchup at Chicago State to open WAC play awaits the team before squaring off with the Roos.
Generating quality scoring chances has been a major struggle for the Roadrunners in 2018, finding the back of the net just six times through 11 matches on the season, ranking last in the WAC. The team has recorded just one multi-goal performance and have been shut out three times. Their 10.3 shots per game sits near the bottom of the conference as well, giving the Roos a great opportunity to get back on track defensively after some recent defensive struggles.
Defensively, CSUB has been much more effective in goal prevention through the first half of the season. The team has allowed just 16 goals to opponents over their first 11 contests this year, recording a pair of shutouts while allowing one or fewer scores in five matches. The Roadrunners have not registered a win when giving up more than one goal, making it imperative for the UMKC attack to be sharp.
Junior goalkeeper Jordan Bertram has been a major part of the team’s defensive success, consistently giving the club solid performances throughout nonconference play. On the season, Bertram ranks third in the WAC with 52 saves while posting a .788 save percentage that sits second in the conference.
Single game tickets for Sunday’s conference home-opener against CSU Bakersfield can be purchased online through the team’s website or by calling 844-UMKC-FAN.
UMKC will remain at home to begin the second week of conference play as they host New Mexico State at Durwood Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 7. The match is slated to kick off at 1 p.m. CT.
– UMKC –