Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Rangers Defeat Rockhurst

In the first game of the season at Livestrong Sporting Park, the Swope Park Rangers defeated Rockhurst University 2-0 on goals by Luke Sassano and Dom Dwyer. KC started the game with a lineup that featured only two players that defeated DC on Saturday 1-0. Jacob Peterson and goal scorer, CJ Sapong both started for the Rangers against Rockhurst.

As expected, Sporting KC dominated play from the start. For much of the half, Rockhurst was lucky to combine 3 passes before their build up broke down. KC attacked in waves, but had trouble beating Rockhurst's defense as they came up with numerous blocks. Finally in the 22nd minute KC broke through. Michael Harrington laid back a pass to Luke Sassano to the right of the goal. Sassano fired a shot that went into the side netting making it 1-0 KC. After the goal, Rockhurst had some of their best build up, as the Rangers defensive pairing of Lawrence Olum and Cyprian Hedrick seemed to struggle at times to stay organized. After the short flurry from Rockhurst though, KC was back down the field and scored again in the 34th minute. Sassano played a cross into the box that took a big deflection off a Rockhurst defender. Dwyer reacted first to the ball and headed it into the net to make it 2-0 KC. After the goal, KC subbed out Sapong for Michael Thomas. Earlier in the half, Sapong had come to the sidelines to have Chet North check him out. It is likely nothing, and he was probably subbed out as a precaution ahead of Saturday's game against New England.

In the second half, the Rangers continued to dominate play. They were especially working down the right hand side, first through Michael Harrington and Peterson, then with Kevin Ellis and Kyle Miller as the two subs came on later in the half. KC created numerous chances but were unable to add to their lead. The best came when Miller played a ball back to Olum whose shot towards the far corner was well saved by the Rockhurst goalkeeper.

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