The Kansas City men’s soccer team struggled in its home opener, falling to Missouri State 3-0 on Saturday night.
“I think we competed well tonight. We have a lot of new players, so it is going to take some time to build chemistry,” said Benben. “Overall, we can always improve. We just have to keep working on our system.”
Kansas City struggled early on in keeping possession consistently. Missouri State used this to its advantage and created many chances off the counter attack. The Bears sent an onslaught of persistent pressure towards Kansas City’s backline, but came up short in the final third.
Missouri State would not let this continue for long, however, making sure to jump on any opportunity the Roos gave them. In the 24th minute, Missouri State midfielder Stuart Wilkin intercepted a forced ball and slid a pass to forward Josh Dolling, who slotted his shot into the bottom right corner of the goal.
The Roos would continue to struggle mightily for the rest of the first half, only mustering one shot. Missouri State was clearly the more-organized team in the first half, and its 1-0 lead showed that.
The second half seemed like a replay of the first, as Missouri State continued to pressure Kansas City’s midfield and backline. The Roos had no answer to the Bears game plan, and continued to give the ball away in crucial parts of the field. Missouri State once again took advantage of a Kansas City mishap, adding to its lead in the 63rd minute with a corner kick goal. Missouri State midfielder Jack Denton sent a ball into the box, and midfielder Will Osgaththorpe headed the ball into the back of the net. The goal slammed the door on any possibility of a Kansas City comeback.
Missouri State was not done, however, taking the life out of the Roos with another goal in the 81st minute. The goal once again came off of a corner, this time with defender Hugo Johnson finding the back of the net with a header. Unlike Missouri State, the Roos were unable to consistently create chances and only produced three total shots, none of them target.
Head Coach Rick Benben felt his team still has a lot to improve on and is hopeful the team can accomplish this in its next game against Drake on Sep. 14.