After the home opening loss to Omaha Kings FC where very little went right, Sunflower State FC welcomed Wichita Wings II to Soccernation KC on January 9th 2021.
The Wings II came into the game with back to back losses to both SSFC and Omaha. They were looking for their first win in MASL3. Wings II head coach Kyle Eno brought a very young team to Kansas City, KS with only 3 players with 1st team minutes.
The game began with SSFC controlling much of the possession and chances but were unable to get much going in the 1st period of play. Sunflower State who welcomed back a few players including Isa De la Torre and Absalom Solario were unable to get anything dangerous on Wichita’s net which was manned by Aaron Parrott for the 1st half. Inevitably, this led to a goal by Wings player, Cade Martin after a blue card was issued to Kassa at the end of the 2nd period.
The second half of play kicked off with Sunflower State again controlling the bulk of the play, however they looked like a fire had been lit in them by coach Kenny Mayer, who was filling in for Nick McDonald. They quickly got on the board off a nice passing sequence that ended with a pass from Ruairi Cotter to Isa De la Torre roofing the ball into the back of the net.
The Eastern Kansas Team then got another after two blue cards were issued to the Wings. Wyatt Fowler got the ball in the Right attacking corner and just pinged it off Kassa into the goal. SSFC then had a positive bit of play with Fowler tracking back winning the ball for Solario, who then did what he does best and picked out Kassa who finished with aplomb for his second of the night. The two-goal lead lasted all of 47 seconds as a simple ball up to the Left corner allowed Bransyn Felty to find Kevin Crafton for the simple finish 3-2 SSFC
Wichita showed some fight and improvement to claw their way back into the game in the 4th period of play and after a blue card to MJ Kalaf. Wings midfielder Benji Monreal took a shot that was wide left but Cade Martin was there to finish for his second of the night past SSFC goalkeeper Tito Favela which made it 3-3.
With the score even, SSFC again took control of the possession game which eventually led to a few opportunities in the 4th period Ruari Cotter had a few powerful shots that were just off the mark, one of which found its way to Kassa who capitalized to get his hat trick which made it 4-3 SSFC. Wichita then pressed to get a goal back and were immediately punished by SSFC who found Kassa for his arguably best goal of the night to make it 5-3. The game would then end 6-4 with a goal by Luis Pinto.
Goals by Luis Pinto(1), Girma Kassa(4)(8 on the season), Issa De La Torre(1)(3 on the season)
Assists by Ruairi Cotter(2)(5 on the season), Absalom Solario (2)(4 on the season), Wyatt Fowler(1)(3 on the season), Spencer Baptiste(1)
I caught up with Head Coach Nick McDonald after the game and he said, “We’ve been working on counterattacking with speed. Sometimes when we steal the ball and movement forward, we are too slow and if we are not fast enough the chance is gone for a goal. I’m pleased how the second half went but we need to be better or else we will be punished by stronger teams. We will look to continue to improve on that over the next 2 weeks.”
McDonald is also playing with the KC Comets this season and will play in their game across I-70 when the Comets take on the St. Louis Ambush on January 16th, 2021.
Sunflower State FC next take on the Springfield Demize February 6th 2021 for our 3rd home game of the year at Soccer Nation KC, but next up will be a road game in Omaha on January 23rd vs. the Omaha Kings. Tickets are 5$ at the door and free to watch on mycujoo.tv look for the link on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram prior kick off.
The game Kicks off at 5:00 PM CST at
Soccer Nation KC, 520 S 55th St,
Kansas City, KS 66106, USA
Salvatore Sesti PT., DPT