Sunflower State FC held their home opener on Saturday against Club Atletico Saint Louis. Sunflower took the win with Tim Smith contributing one goal and two assists.
“I'm glad we got [Smith] started. I played him out of position as an outside back last game and we got him in at his ideal position this game and I think he was trying to make a statement that he wants to stay there. So, Tim did really well. He's a great player,” Sunflower State’s head coach Nick McDonald said.
Both teams came out hot. Sunflower was trying to get in the win column after the loss in Des Moines as Saint Louis looked to start their season with a successful outing. The first goal came 15 minutes into the match when Bryce Dickerson made a run up the left side and found a passing lane into Tim Smith. Smith found the net, putting Sunflower on the board.
Sunflower 1, Saint Louis 0.
Just a minute later, Ruairi Cotter was issued the game’s first yellow card after a late challenge.
23’ Smith returned the favor passing from about the 18 to Dickerson on the back post. Dickerson got his head on the ball and snuck it past Saint Louis goalkeeper Greg L'Hommedieu.
Sunflower 2, Saint Louis 0.
28’ A wonderful through ball by Jackson Elgas released Tim Smith attacking from the right. Smith made his own opening, opted to pass back across the middle. The captain Caden McLagen came sprinting in and rocketed the ball into the net for the last goal of the half.
At halftime, Sunflower 3, Saint Louis 0.
Saint Louis made their halftime adjustments and came out strong. 48’ a corner kick got knocked out past the 18 by Sunflower. Saint Louis’s Cole Hutson recovered and crossed to captain Josh Ward. Ward knocked it in with his head, the ball going right through Sunflower goalkeeper Noah Reuscher.
“Yeah, you know, we switched up our formation, you know, they were out in the 4-3-3 and they were trying to press on the defensive third area, we went out with the 3-5-2 we overloaded, and they couldn't deal with it. So that allowed us to play balls in,” Ateltico Saint Louis’s head coach Matt May said.
Sunflower 3, Saint Louis 1.
The rest of the half would see no goals but three yellow cards. The first came in the 56th minute, charged to Jackson Million for a trip. Saint Louis’s only yellow came in the 65th minute when Xavier Brown took out Sunflower’s Ryder Barret with a clumsy sliding challenge. Finally, Sunflower’s Bashir Khalil was given a yellow card in 76’ for a tackle.
Sunflower’s next match will be in Milwaukee against FC Milwaukee Torrent on May 27.
Club Atletico Saint Louis will also be playing May 27 on the road against Iowa Raptors FC.