The Swope Park Rangers concluded their preseason with a 1-1 draw against Creighton University at Swope Soccer Village this afternoon. Mark Anthony Gonzalez, fresh off his first-ever call-up to the Canada Under-23 National Team, scored the lone goal for SPR.
In just the seventh minute, Christian Duke was taken down inside the box and Gonzalez stepped up confidently to convert and put the Rangers up 1-0.
Five minutes later, Darrin MacLeod was called into action to deny a dangerous free kick from Creighton. An identical situation arose in the 30th minute and MacLeod was again up to the task as he made yet another save.
The Rangers resistance finally broke in the 35th minute when Ricky Lopez-Espin pounced on a ball in the box and slotted beyond MacLeod to make the halftime score 1-1.
In the 61st minute, Louis Bennett slipped Gonzalez through on goal and the forward was taken down but the referee declined to award SPR another penalty kick. Thirteen minutes later, Gonzalez again burst free and beat his defender but the Creighton goalkeeper was able to deny him a winner as the game finished 1-1.
The Rangers kick off their 2017 season next Saturday with a showdown against Jimmy Nielsen and OKC Energy FC at Swope Soccer Village. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CT and tickets are available via SeatGeek.
Swope Park Rangers vs. Creighton University
March 18, 2017 – Swope Soccer Village (Kansas City, Mo.)
Swope Park Rangers 1, Creighton University 1
SPR – Mark Anthony Gonzalez (Penalty Kick) 7’
CRE – Ricky Lopez-Espin 35’
Swope Park Rangers: Darrin MacLeod; Colton Storm, Amer Didic, Dakota Barnathan, Parker Maher (Joe Amico 46’); James Musa (Oumar Ballo 46’), Christian Duke © (Louis Bennett 46’), Felipe Hernandez (Lebo Moloto 46’); Kharlton Belmar (Will Little 46’), Mark Anthony Gonzalez, Nansel Selbol (Liam Doyle 46’).