Traveling to Little Rock, Arkansas for their second game in three days, FC Wichita was fired up to get back on track. Wichita came into the game after losing their last two games, including Thursday night’s contest with FC Dallas. FC Wichita drew 1-1 with Little Rock thanks to a last minute goal by Dora Gallo.
Little Rock tested FC Wichita defensively, putting continuous pressure on Wichita’s defensive line and goalkeeper. Just four minutes in, Little Rock had their first corner of the game following the first of many great saves by Wichita keeper Jami Reichenberger.
While Little Rock could not score on the initial corner kick chance, the second ball in was headed into the back of the net by Anika Kallash, giving Little Rock an early lead. FC Wichita began getting opportunities at this point, getting two or three chances in the next eight minutes.
In the 13th minute, Reichenberger kept her great day going, with a punch save to send a ball over the net. This gave the Rangers a corner kick chance but they could not convert.
Three minutes later, FC Wichita got their first shot on target of the day, but it was sent right at the keeper. In the 22nd minute, Jami made another easy save, which sent the game to the first half water break.
In the 29th minute, Wichita had their best chance of the game thus far, but the shot was just late and hit a defenders foot. Five minutes later, Reichenberger saved another chip shot with a jumping punch save over the net.
FC Wichita had their first corner of the game in the 35th minute, but could not convert. Wichita did not have another ball in the offensive third the whole half after this point.
The half ended with Little Rock still leading, 1-0. Reichenberger recorded 15 saves in the first half and Little Rock took 24 shots.
The first 10 minutes of the second half were much like the first half. Little Rock controlled possession very well, giving no chanced to Wichita in this time.
At the 56 minute mark, D. Gallo’s shot was stopped by a diving Rangers keeper, resulting in a corner kick for Wichita. Off the corner, Peyton Eskridge had a nice shot just saved by a Little Rock defender.
The next five minutes were extreme back and forth soccer. The Rangers answered the FC Wichita corner with one of their own. They could not convert and Wichita formed a nice counter attack the other way. A good ball gave Wichita a great one on one with the keeper, but they were called offsides.
Wichita did not have another opportunity all the way to the second half water break in the 69th minute. In this time, Little Rock put seven shots up, six of them saved by Reichenberger.
FC Wichita had a great chance with a free kick just outside the 18-yard mark at the corner of the box. The free kick had too much air under it, sending it over the crossbar. Although the free kick was no good, the momentum had switched to Wichita’s side. Another great strike in the 86th minute was just saved by the Rangers keeper.
Finally, in the second minute of stoppage time, Dora Gallo received a ball in the midfield, about 25 yards out. She took two touches before firing a shot toward the lower right corner of the net. The shot was touched by the Rangers keeper, but not enough as the ball slowly rolled over the end line and into the back of the net.
Wichita defended another two minutes to keep the game at 1-1 and steal a point in Little Rock with the draw.
FC Wichita (4-3-1) returns home for their season finale this Saturday at Trinity Academy. The game is set for a 4:00 p.m. start time against Fortuna Tulsa(3-2-3). Tulsa defeated Wichita in their other contest this season in Tulsa and own the all time series record 1-0-0. You can buy your tickets here.
WOMEN OF THE MATCH
Gallo delivered the game tying goal in the 92nd minute. She has stepped up big recently for the FC Wichita offensive core.
BY THE NUMBERS
Little Rock attempted 13 corner kick on Saturday night. This is by far the most FC Wichita has faced in a single game all season.
The Rangers put 44 shots on the board. This made Jami Reichenberger’s life more difficult than usual, keeping her on her toes.
Jami Reichenberger recorded 28 saves Saturday night, a season high for her. Her performance kept the ladies in blue close enough to tie it late and take home the draw.
By: Matthew Will