Kansas City women’s soccer began conference play with an exhilarating 1-1 draw against UTRGV Oct. 4 at Durwood Stadium.
The early part of the first half was one to forget for both teams offensively, with sloppy and errant passes all over the field. The Vaqueros opened up the game in the 17th minute, jumping out in front off a laser goal from forward Shentatious Knox. The goal forced the Roos to play with a bit of urgency that was not seen in the beginning of the game.
Once the Roos found their footing, they looked like a completely different team. Unlike the first 15 minutes of the game, Kansas City was exploiting UTRGV’s defense on the outside wings. The Roos’ forwards used their speed as a distraction, opening up large amounts of space for the midfielders to utilize in the attack. Kansas City eventually broke through in the 39th minute when Amanda Sampson found Emma Wilson near post in an advantageous position. Wilson craftily hit a back heel into the back of the net, giving Kansas City a boost of energy right before the half.
The second half looked a lot like the beginning of the game, as each team struggled to find pockets of space to create chances. Defensively, both teams were stout and organized in their shape. There were opportunities here and there, but none of these attacks produced enticing chances at goal. Kansas City’s lone, legitimate chance came in the 81st minute when freshman Lindsey Prokop slid a shot just wide of the left post. After 90 minutes of intense play, the game was still knotted at one goal apiece, and the contest headed to overtime.
Kansas City had plenty of shots toward goal, but unbelievable play from Vaqueros goalkeeper Kinga Szemik kept the Roos from winning the game.
Head Coach Chris Cissell said the Roos will use this result as a building block for their next match.
“It’s tough to get a draw at home,” Cissell said. “Credit to UTRGV to be able to come on the road in the first conference game and get a draw. Now we have to just focus on moving on.”
Kansas City returned to action against Seattle U on Oct. 6, resulting in another 1-1 draw. Seattle appeared to be on the verge of stealing a road victory following a late goal, but an 88th-minute equalizer from midfielder Ryan Childers saved the Roos from defeat.
The women’s team begins a two-game road trip against Grand Canyon on Oct. 10.