Sunflower State FC Defeats Club Atletico Saint Louis 3-1
By Sunflower State FC
Sunflower State FC held their home opener on Saturday, May 20th against Club Atletico Saint Louis. Sunflower State took the win with Tim Smith contributing one goal and two assists.
“I’m glad we got [Smith] started,” Sunflower State head coach Nick McDonald said. “I played him out of position as an outside back last game, and we got him in at his ideal position this game. I think he was trying to make a statement that he wants to stay there. Tim, Tim did really well. He’s a great player.”
Both teams came out hot. Sunflower was trying to get in the win column after the loss in Des Moines, while 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 for Smith. The midfielder would finish to give Sunflower State the 1-0 lead.
Just a minute later, Ruairi Cotter was issued the game’s first yellow card after a late challenge.
Smith returned the favor in the 23rd minute, passing to Bryce Dickerson at the back post. Dickerson got his head on the ball and snuck it past Saint Louis goalkeeper Greg L’Hommedieu for a 2-0 lead.
In the 28th minute a wonderful through ball by Jackson Elgas released Smith attacking from the right. Smith made his own opening and opted to pass back across the middle. Captain Caden McLagen came sprinting in and rocketed the ball into the net for the last goal of the half.
Sunflower State held on to the 3-0 lead going into halftime.
Saint Louis made their halftime adjustments and came out strong. A corner kick in the 50th minute got knocked out to the 18-yard box by Sunflower State. Saint Louis’s Cole Hutson recovered and crossed to Josh Ward. The captain knocked it in with his head with the ball going right past Sunflower goalkeeper Noah Reuscher for the score.
“We switched up our formation,” Atletico Saint Louis head coach Matt May said. “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. That allowed us to play balls in.”
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 State’s Ryder Barrett with a sliding challenge. Finally, Sunflower State’s Bashir Khalil was given a yellow card in the 76th minute for a tackle.
Sunflower State’s next match will be on the road against FC Milwaukee Torrent on Saturday, May 27. Club Atletico Saint Louis will play May 27 on the road against Iowa Raptors FC.
Photo Credit: Matthew Pritchett