YORK – Tough weather conditions Saturday afternoon leveled the playing field as the Panthers hosted the Saint Mary Spires. York out shot the Spires 21-7, but the defense of Saint Mary held strong as the goalkeeper, Blake Kuehl picked up nine saves.
In the 10th minute of play goalkeeper Bryce Kinsey (SR/Wichita, Kan) got tangled up with an opponent as they both scrambled for the ball. Kinsey got called for a fould in the box and USM was awarded a penalty kick. Rodney Smith converted on the chance and the Panthers found themselves battling from behind.
Fifty minutes later Albert Bajrami (FR/Ravenna, Italy) gave the Panthers life as he scored from the right side to square things up at 1-1. However, the wet field conditions kept the ball moving quicker than normal and the Panthers weren’t able to clear an offensive possession quick enough in the 68th minute.
It was Smith again that scored on a pass from Jay Wilcutt for the game-winner as York couldn’t capitalize on their opportunities in the final 20 minutes of play.
It was a physical match as 34 fouls were called, and six yellow cards were distributed by the center referee.
York falls to 6-3 on the season and 2-2 in KCAC play. The Panthers will travel to Lindsborg, Kansas on Tuesday to play Bethany College with a 7:30 p.m. kick off.