UMKC played their best soccer yet to finish the season Sunday in the Western Athletic Championship Tournament at Durwood Stadium in front of a crowd chanting, “Whose house – Roos’ house!”
The Roos’ Lexie Howard netted the ball in the 7th minute of the championship match, for the early lead against Seattle University. Kelsey Mothershead dribbled the ball down the right flank of the field and crossed the ball into the box. Howard gave a nearside side volley to send it into the back of the net, which brought the packed Durwood Stadium to its feet.
Seattle came back one minute later and equalized the match. Karli White dribbled to the top of the 18-yard for a shot that got past Roos’ Anna Lillig. The intense match now had some evidence to back up its reputation.
UMKC’s defense gave up three goals in the tournament. They deserve credit for keeping the ball in their opponent’s half the majority of every game, which is a stat that can’t be found on paper. Goalkeeper Lillig recorded 15 saves against Seattle, California State University, Bakersfield [CSUB], and University of Texas Rio Grande Valley [UTRGV].
Seattle scored their second goal in the 72nd minute of the game. Jessie Ray finished the ball, side-netting six yards out from the left side of the six-yard box.
The tournament fatigue gave Seattle an advantage. They had only played one match before the championship game. UMKC had a lower seeding and had played two. They had also beaten the second overall team, CSUB, 4-0 coming into Sunday’s match.
The Roos produced six different goal scorers that put the ball in the net nine times.
Notable goals for UMKC came from team captain Emily Herndon, Abby Small, during the CSUB match, and Lilly Cobb in the UTRGV match.
Senior Herndon scored two goals against CSUB. Her first goal came after Lexie Howard crossed the ball into the 18-yard box. Howard ran onto the ball and blasted a shot that would have overpowered and blown up a battery. Small recorded the fourth and final goal against CSUB while dribbling in the offensive third. She found herself with room 24-yards out, and let a shot fly to score from considerable distance.
Lilly Cobb netted the third goal against UTRGV on Thursday. The goal was similar to one she had scored 3 weeks ago against CSUB only this one was with the opposite foot. Cobb found herself with room, 12 yards out on the right side of the goal. Cobb blasted a left-footed shot which finished side-netting.
UMKC finished the season in front of a full house in a highly competitive match. Many fans left Durwood Stadium highly anticipating next year’s season.