UMKC storms back to beat the Huskies

The UMKC Men’s Soccer overcame an early 2-0 deficit and pulled out a 4-3 victory on Saturday night against Houston Baptist.

The Roos closed out their season with one of their best performances, and it came on senior night for the Roos. However, things were not always smooth sailing for UMKC as they found themselves in a deep hole early.

Houston Baptist didn’t take long to put themselves in front as they scored off of a corner in the fifth minute of play.

They quickly added another goal in the ninth minute when they were awarded a penalty. UMKC’s defense was carved open, and a forced challenge on the ball created the penalty.  Throughout the first half, the Roos found themselves pinned and pressured by the Huskie’s attack and could not keep possession. UMKC began to break through the high-press, aggressive play of the Huskies and started to create chances that put pressure on Houston Baptist’s defense.

UMKC put themselves back in striking distance when they scored in the 31st minute off of a sloppy mistake from the Huskies midfield.

Senior midfielder Chris Bellmann executed a perfect overlapping pass to Pantelis Popgeorgiev who slotted the ball into the top right corner.

UMKC continued this style of play going into the second half, and even though they found themselves down 2-1 heading into the half, there was a change in momentum.

The Roos quickly knotted the game up at two when Mirko Orchi pulled off a free kick in the 51st minute, curling the ball over the Huskies goalkeeper.

UMKC found themselves in control of the game and could sense nervousness on the other side of the ball.  They continued to attack in the 58th minute when senior midfielder Chris Anderaos gave Popgeorgiev a slow rolling ball at the edge of the box and Popgeorgiev once again scored a goal into the bottom left corner.

This goal would put the Roos up 3-2 with about 30 minutes left.  Anderaos created another goal for his team in the 67th minute when he slid a perfectly paced ball to David Ray-Campoy who snuck the ball into the right corner of the goal and put the game out of reach for the Huskies.

Houston Baptist had other ideas and with UMKC comfortably sitting back and allowing the Huskies to push forward, Houston Baptist took advantage and kept the doors open with a goal in the 84th minute.

This was too little, too late and UMKC was able to close out an amazing comeback to end their season. The Roos close out the season with a 5-12 record and will have a strong nucleus returning in 2019 and will look to improve their record next season.

laldpy@mail.umkc.edu

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