MSU men’s soccer had a very solid first half of soccer Thursday, Aug. 30, against UMKC, until a lightning delay stopped the game.
NCAA rules require soccer games to play at least 70 minutes for the game to count, so the match went down as a “no game.”
The Bears scored two goals in the only half of play, one by senior forward Matt Bentley in the 14th minute, and another by senior forward Ian Jones with 17 seconds left in the half.
After a choppy opening five minutes, the Bears took over the game and never looked back.
There were two seperate stretches — both about five minutes long — that MSU pinned the Roos in their own penalty area, stopping every UMKC clearing attempt.
Bentley’s goal, which he kicked in among a large group of players about 3 feet from the goal line, came in the first five-minute stretch of total control by the Bears.
If not for some heroic saves by UMKC goalkeeper Filippo Errico, the Bears would have scored more than two goals.
“We had several chances to score goals,” MSU head coach John Leamy said after the game. “(Errico) made some big stops.”
A combination of players created scoring chances for the Bears, highlighted by senior midfielder Stuart Wilkin, who had four of the team’s 12 shots. Junior Josh Dolling was impactful as well — he set up several scoring chances for the Bears, one of which turned into an assist.
Jones’ goal at the end of the half was a header off a cross by Dolling, who Jones credits with setting up his goal.
“I was just happy to help my team,” Jones said after the game. “Dolling put a great ball in — it was just my duty to put it in.”
The Bears had 12 shots in the half, seven on goal. The Roos had two shots, one on goal.
Leamy said he was very pleased with his team’s performance and positioning.
“I thought we were pretty solid,” Leamy said. “We were good in the back, we were defending well, we really didn’t give them too many chances. We had quite a few corner kicks, seven to zero — that’s usually a good sign of some field position and possession.”
Jones said he was happy with his and his teammates’ performance as well.
“We started off really well,” Jones said. “UMKC is a good team. We did well to rise to the occasion.”
The Bears will get another chance to play UMKC when they go to Kansas City on Sept. 7. They took a road trip over the weekend and played Santa Clara on Sept. 2.