KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC women’s soccer team (7-6-1, 2-0 WAC) claimed their season-best third straight victory and second conference win in Sunday’s match against perennial Western Athletic Conference power Seattle U.
The Roos were more than up to the challenge, emerging victorious in convincing fashion with a 3-0 final score. Seattle U has been on an incredible run in WAC competition for several years, with today’s loss marking the program’s first conference loss since the 2014 season.
“Coming up with a decisive win over a program that has been so dominant over the years in our conference is a huge step for our program,” commented head coach Chris Cissell. “Our players stepped up in a major way today and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
The first half was very evenly matched, with both sides trading attacks back and forth. UMKC held a 4-2 edge in shots in the opening period while Seattle U took a 2-0 advantage in corner kicks. Each team came close to finding the opening goal numerous times but the defensive lines continued to hold firm.
It was UMKC who would eventually break through and take control of the game. A foul called against Seattle U at the edge of the box did not result in a penalty kick but did award the Roos with a quality free-kick from close range. Maureen Bigsby (Omaha, Neb.) took the kick, sending a short pass to Reighan Childers (Grain Valley, Mo.) who sent a shot to the far post to open up the scoring. The goal came at the 25:25 mark and was Childers’ first of the season.
UMKC held on to the 1-0 lead into halftime and came out in the second period as a team determined to take home their second conference win. Intensity remained high and the one goal lead seemed overly vulnerable until the Roos struck for a pair of second half goals in under two minutes to seal the game.
The first goal stemmed from a Seattle U turnover that UMKC quickly sent the other way, setting up a three on two attack in the 62nd minute. Kara Priest (Overland Park, Kan.) charged up the field and delivered a beautiful lead pass to Kelsey Mothershead (Smithville, Mo.) on the right wing. Mothershead continued to press forward and fired a rocket from 23 yards to the far post past goalkeeper Mackenzie Curry for her fifth goal of the season and her second goal on the weekend.
It was Priest again who would facilitate the Roos’ third goal with her second assist of the match, sending a ball up the right wing to hit Lexie Howard (Kearney, Mo.) in full stride. Howard raced down the left wing before making a crafty move towards the middle of the field to get into a better scoring position. Her shot from 25 yards found the top shelf and shook the net to give the Roos a 3-0 lead. The goal was Howard’s eighth of the season and gave her the sole lead in goals in the WAC. She entered the match tied with Seattle U’s Jessie Ray, who was held in check by the Roos powerful defensive unit.
UMKC stayed with their recent trend of alternating goalkeepers, giving Erin Roth (Eureka, Mo.) the start in net. Roth matched Anna Lillig’s (Kansas City, Mo) shutout in Friday’s contest with a shutout of her own. It was her third of the season and improved her record to 3-1-1.
The Roos team defense has been spectacular this season and it was very much on display in Sunday’s game. The shutout was the team’s seventh of the season and the fifth in their last six matches. All of UMKC’s wins this season have come in the shutout variety.
The win also marked career victory number 350 for head coach Chris Cissell, who is now in his seventh season at UMKC.
“It was a phenomenal weekend for our team in all areas and we hope to keep playing at this level moving forward,” noted Cissell. “Getting two conference wins by a combined 6-0 score, players coming up with great passes and shots, our defense and goalkeepers keeping a clean sheet in both games, huge contributions from the bench, every phase was sharp.”
UMKC will hit the road riding its three-game winning streak with a pair of conference matches next weekend. The Roos will square off with CSU Bakersfield on Friday, Oct. 13 at 9 p.m. CT, before taking on Grand Canyon on Sunday, Oct. 15 at 3 p.m. CT. Both games will be broadcast on the WAC Digital Network free of charge.
– UMKC –