The Swope Park Rangers battled to a 1-0 home win over cross-state rivals Saint Louis FC at Swope Soccer Village on Saturday night. Tyler Pasher scored just 65 seconds into the contest before play was halted for over an hour and a half in the 37th minute due to inclement weather. Once play resumed, the Rangers soaked up heavy pressure from Saint Louis to claim all three points for the second consecutive week.
With the first foray forward from either side in the game, the Rangers (6-7-2, 20 pts.) took the lead. Mark Anthony Gonzalez dribbled at the Saint Louis defense and hit a low shot across goal that was tipped aside by goalkeeper Ryan Thompson, but Pasher was on hand to slam home the rebound and make the score 1-0 in the second minute. The goal was Pasher’s third of the season, while two of his three goals have been game-winners.
Saint Louis (6-6-4, 22 pts.) responded well and threatened when forward Irvin Herrera, who has nine goals on the season, found space behind the SPR defense but his powerful effort was tipped over the bar by Jon Kempin.
The two sides traded half-chances with Kris Tyrpak firing wide from 25 yards and Amer Didic making an important tackle to deny Seth Rudolph a clean look at goal before the game was temporarily suspended due to inclement weather in the 37th minute.
After a one hour and 38 minute break, play resumed at 9:50 p.m. CT and the Rangers immediately tried to grab a second goal before halftime when Amadou Dia cut the ball back to Tyrpak who fired narrowly over.
In the second half, Saint Louis began throwing bodies forward in search of an equalizer, but the SPR defense stood firm and repelled the numerous long balls that were floated into the area. In the 79th minute, Herrera turned on the top of the box and fired just over the bar as STL began creating chances.
The final 10 minutes saw the Rangers absorb pressure and hit on the counter, with substitutes Ayrton and Dane Kelly both firing over when well positioned on the break. In the closing moments, Herrera forced a strong save from Kempin before Kelly put a close-range effort just wide as the Rangers held out for the three points and posted their second straight shutout.
Man of the Match Presented by Courtyard Overland Park Metcalf
- Tyler Pasher – Scored the only goal of the game just 65 seconds into the matchup, while he was an important defensive piece down the left side for the Rangers.
- The Swope Park Rangers hit the road next weekend as they head to Peoria, Ariz. to take on Arizona United SC at the Peoria Sports Complex on Saturday, July 9. Kickoff is set for 9:30 p.m. CT and a live stream will be available on SportingKC.com.
Swope Park Rangers vs. Saint Louis FC
July 2, 2016 – Swope Soccer Village (Kansas City, Mo.)
Swope Park Rangers 1, Saint Louis FC 0
SPR – Tyler Pasher 3 (Unassisted) 2’
STL – Jamiel Hardware (Yellow Card) 44’
STL – Chad Bond (Yellow Card) 64’
Swope Park Rangers: Jon Kempin; Jimmy Mulligan, Amer Didic, Oumar Ballo, Amadou Dia; Ualefi, Christian Duke ©, Alex Molano (Dane Kelly 55’); Kris Tyrpak (Johnny Grant 86’), Mark Anthony Gonzalez (Ayrton 72’), Tyler Pasher (Nansel Selbol 83’).
Substitutes Not Used: Zac Lubin, Tommy Meyer, Tomas Granitto.
STATS: Shots 9, Shots on Goal 2, Corners 2, Fouls 12
Saint Louis FC: Ryan Thompson; Brandon Barklage, AJ Cochran, Sam Fink, Parker Maher; Chad Bond ©, Jacob Bushue (Schillo Tshuma 68’), Mike Ambersley (Charles Renken 75’), Seth Rudolph (Jordan Roberts 63’); Jamiel Hardware (Vince Cicciarelli 89’), Irvin Herrera.
Substitutes Not Used: Mark Pais, Tyler David, Richard Dixon.
STATS: Shots 8, Shots on Goal 4, Corners 6, Fouls 5
Referee: Sorin Stoica
Assistant Referees: Justin Mack and Royce VanRoekel
Fourth Official: Eric Wood
Weather: Rainy and 68 degrees