CHICAGO, Ill. – The 2017 regular season finale couldn’t have gone better for the UMKC women’s soccer team (12-6-1, 7-0 WAC), as they powered though an 8-0 road win over Chicago State (1-19, 0-7 WAC) in Saturday afternoon’s match.
The win clinched the first outright Western Athletic Conference championship for the Roos since joining the league in 2013. UMKC has consistently finished in the top-three, claiming a co-championship in Seattle U in 2014, but the program’s first undefeated WAC record has propelled the Roos to even greater heights.
Saturday’s game was absolutely dominated by UMKC, who held advantages in shots 27-12, shots on goal 20-8, and corner kicks 8-3. The lopsided affair allowed the Roos a chance to give their starters significant rest and got all 18 traveling players into the match.
“The goals we were able to manufacture were all set up by really great possessions and fantastic passing,” noted head coach Chris Cissell. “We came out today playing very sharp and took care of business with another great team win.”
UMKC came out firing with an overwhelming offensive explosion to open up the contest. Lexie Howard (Kearney, Mo.) got the scoring started for the Roos, sending in a rebound from a shot off the post for what would ultimately be the game-winning goal at the 8:26 mark.
Reighan Childers (Grain Valley, Mo.) was next in line to score for the Roos. Moments after the opening marker, Childers struck a beautiful corner kick that bent into the net for her fifth goal of the season in the 12th minute of play.
The scoring continued for the Roos with Kelsey Mothershead (Smithville, Mo.) recording her seventh goal of the season at the 14:25 mark. Mothershead gathered in a great pass from Liz Mann (Kansas City, Mo.) before extending the UMKC lead to 3-0. Mothershead finished the game with a goal and two assists in 23 minutes of action while Mann recorded two assists on the day.
It was Howard again who would net another first half goal for the Roos in the 17th minute. Using an assist from Mothershead, Howard connected on her second goal of the match, raising her season total to 12 goals for the year. She recorded four shots and three shots on goal in 23 minutes played in the contest. Howard sits atop the WAC leaders in goals scored following today’s performance and could hold that position into postseason depending on results later this evening.
With the game seemingly wrapped up after the early UMKC surge, the offense was led the rest of the way by senior Kara Priest (Overland Park, Kan.). Priest came up huge in the last regular season game of her UMKC career, sending in goals in the 21st, 40th and 58th minutes. Her header at the 58:52 mark came was set up by an assist from teammate Ryann Burnett (Wichita, Kan.) and marked the first hat trick of her career.
Freshman Maddi Cipolla (Lee’s Summit, Mo.) pitched in with a goal of her own in the midst of Priest’s scoring run. The score came just a few minutes into the second half at the 48:23 mark and was assisted by fellow freshman Hayden Burnett (Wichita, Kan.). The goal was the first of Cipolla’s young career for the Roos.
Anna Lillig (Kansas City, Mo.) and Erin Roth (Eureka, Mo.) each played one half between the posts and teamed up to record the team’s 11th shutout of the season. Both keepers were credited with four saves apiece and continued their stellar play to wrap up the 2017 regular season. Lillig made the start in net and earned her seventh win of the season, improving her record to 7-5.
“Making it through the entire conference schedule without a loss is a truly an amazing feeling and I am very proud of our whole team,” commented Cissell. “They have worked hard and battled day in, day out and they absolutely deserve the accomplishment.”
UMKC will prepare for the WAC Tournament beginning on Thursday, Nov. 2. The tournament will be hosted by Grand Canyon with games being played in Phoenix, Ariz. The Roos will be the top seed and will have a first round bye. All tournament games will be streamed on the WAC Digital Network free of charge.
– UMKC –