The UMKC Kangaroos’ regular season opener against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights resulted in a tight 0-1 loss Friday night at Yurcak Field in New Jersey.
After a 1-1 record in preseason with a 3-1 win over UMSL and a 1-3 defeat against Rockhurst University, the team led by head coach Rick Benben began their second season as a member of the WAC.
Both teams started off strong in the first half. The game remained 0-0 at halftime, recording only one opportunity to score per team. The Roos’ best chance to score came in the 10thminute when junior Broc Cramer headed a cross straight to the goal, but a Rutgers defender cleared it off the line.
Rutgers almost scored with a corner kick, but UMKC senior goalkeeper Chris McGaughey saved it.
Rutgers led 4-1 in the shot count to start the second half, but Kansas City came out looking for its opening goal.
Seniors Sylvester Yiadom and Tato Chiaparro had two scoring opportunities but were unable to follow through.
At 52 minutes, Jason Wright put Rutgers in the lead after getting behind Kansas City’s defense. He completed a cross from Ross Tetro that McGaughey could not block.
UMKC fought hard for a goal and set up several opportunities to succeed throughout the second half, including a header from senior defender Michael Oakley off a corner kick. It was deflected by Rutgers’ goalkeeper David Greczek.
Rutgers could have increased its lead when J.P. Correa took advantage of a counter attack, but McGaughey got a touch on the ball to keep the score 0-1.
The Kangaroos head to Springfield, MO, to face the Missouri State Bears on Sept. 6 at 7 pm.