Kansas City men’s soccer wins third straight game in thrilling victory over Utah Valley

The Kansas City’s men’s soccer team edged out Utah Valley in a 2-1 victory Saturday night at Durwood Stadium.

The match got off to a sloppy start, as each team could not find any rhythm in the attacking half of the field. Both sides looked to exploit the other team on the counter defense but were unable to connect on the crucial passes in the final third. Utah Valley nearly jumped in front in the 15th minute, but Kansas City goalkeeper Filippo Errico made a diving save to keep the Wolverines off the scoreboard. Kansas City showed glimpses of promise in the final third towards the end of the half, but more often than not its attacks flared out. The Roos broke through in the 41st minute, with midfielder Aiden Cavanaugh sending a low-driven shot into the bottom right corner of the goal to give the team a 1-0 lead before halftime.

Unlike the first 45 minutes, Kansas City looked poised and comfortable in the midfield and final third in the second half, no longer pressing and forcing passes into tight windows. The Roos slipped up in the 64th minute with a turnover near their goal, but Errico came up with another big save to keep Utah Valley scoreless.

Kansas City increased its lead in the 67th minute when midfielder Ryan Khedoo crafted his way around three defenders and slotted a curler into the back of the net.  The score gave Kansas City a much needed cushion heading into the final 15 minutes of the game. 

Utah Valley was not dead in the water just yet, however, trimming the Roos’ lead in the 74th minute when Blake Frischknect hit a header off the crossbar and into the goal.

The Wolverines would continue to push forward in the dying moments of the match but failed to connect on golden opportunities in front of goal.

Kansas City Head Coach Rick Benben was proud of his team’s performance and emphasized that the Roos are capable of achieving great things.

“We are just starting,” said Benben. “Beating two top-30 teams back-to-back is a real testament to our team. If we can beat those teams, we can beat anyone.”

Kansas City looks to extend its winning streak to four games on the road against UNLV on Oct. 25.

laldpy@mail.umkc.edu

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