February 11th, 2021 Salvatore Sesti PT., DPT.
This past Saturday, Sunflower State FC concluded their final, regular season game at SoccerNation KC with a win over the Springfield Demize. The 10-6 win brought SSFC back to 3 wins and 3 losses going into tournament play this Valentine’s Day weekend in Wichita.
The goals on Saturday were scored by: SSFC original and Man of the Match, Wyatt Fowler with 3 goals (5 goals on the season), Girma Kassa with 2 (12 goals on the season), Alex Acuna, who demonstrated a good bit of skill to score 1 (2nd goal of the season), Isaias de la Torre (3rd goal of the season) and Ruairi Cotter (5th goal on the season), who showed off their strength to add one apiece, and newcomer Akolade Mbadebo who scored 2 (2 goals on the season). It was also the semi-professional debut for 15-year-old goalkeeper, Matthew Solorio, a student at Oak Park High, who made 7 HUGE saves to ensure SSFC’s victory and follow in his two older brothers’ footsteps. The game was SSFC’s most complete performance of the season— both defense and attack were in sync against last year’s PASL champions Springfield Demize. The Demize have now lost 3 in a row, due in part to missing some of their starters to injury or illness and will start the Heartland Tournament as the #3 seed.
Sunflower State FC is starting to piece everything together as they look to finish out their first season. They have two young goalkeepers who are stars in the making, with Tito Favela a Youth RISE graduate who has amazing reflexes, good instincts, and a commanding presence at just 19 years old and 15-year-old Matthew Solorio who is as about as brave as they come. Both add key length and athleticism between the goal posts.
The defense has improved throughout the season as Isaias de la Torre, Spencer Jean Baptiste, Ruairi Cotter, Dakota Okwuone, Derrick Carson, and Jacob Kisner (to name a few) have improved their organization to complement their athletic ability. The midfield and attack are also starting to fire on all cylinders as Girma Kassa, whose skill is undeniable, has seen coordinated support from the likes of Wyatt Fowler, Alex Acuna, and newcomers Mburu Nganga, and Akolade Mbadebo. SSFC will need to continue to work together, make smart decisions, and break quickly to capitalize on other team’s mistakes in the tournament this weekend.
The MASL III Heartland Tournament will be hosted by the folks over at Hartman Arena in Park City, Kansas, where there will be two semi-final games. Sunflower State (#2 seed) will face the Demize (#3 seed) for the second time in two weeks. League leaders Omaha Kings will then face Wichita Wings’ second team. Omaha is undefeated this season in MASL III league play but is coming off The Rocky Mountain Invitational with losses to Amarillo and Colorado. The winner of each game will play the following day for the inaugural MASL III Heartland Division Championship.
The tournament will allow fans as Hartman Arena (85151 N Hartman Arena Drive
Park City, KS 67147) has plenty of space to accommodate social distancing. Sunflower State FC will need all your support you can give this weekend to help them push for their first indoor championship in MASL 3!
If you can’t make it this weekend, please show your love this Valentine’s Day Weekend for Sunflower State FC on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) @SunflowerStateFC and through the live stream which will be sent out on our social media channels later in the week!