Chris Alessio admitted to some mixed feelings Wednesday night. On the one hand, Alessio and his Truman soccer teammates outshot and at times outplayed Park Hill South. On the other hand, it was still another loss.
Truman, even with an overwhelming shot advantage, couldn’t get the upper hand and fell to its Suburban Middle Seven rival 2-1 at Truman Stadium.
“It felt kind of frustrating,” Alessio said. “We were so close to tying the game and we couldn’t do that. We all played hard and that’s what means the most.”
Truman (5-11, 3-6 conference) outshot Park Hill South (11-5, 7-2) 15-3, with an 8-1 advantage in the second half. That’s when Alessio, a junior defender, scored the Patriots’ goal by redirecting a corner kick from forward Esteban Herrera in front of the net.
“It bounced off the ground and no one touched it,” Alessio said of his goal in the 59th minute. “I stuck my leg out to hit it with my shin and that’s how it went in.”
Truman, however, couldn’t get anything else to go in as it battled a solid Park Hill South back line. The Patriots even had a man advantage when a Park Hill South player received a red card in the 48th minute.
Truman’s best chance at an equalizer came in the 73rd minute with a well-placed corner kick that resulted in a shot that hit the crossbar and a rebound that just went over the net.
“They had three opportunities, they scored two. We had a lot of opportunities in the first half and we couldn’t put it in,” Truman coach Manny Tovar said. “I thought today was definitely one of our best games keeping possession and knocking the ball around. I thought we did a really good job with it.”
Park Hill South’s goals came on its only two shots of the first half. Mudia Reuben accounted for both of them, scoring on a breakaway in the 18th minute and a header off a perfect cross from defender Cody Chatham in the 39th minute.
“The first one was just our mistake,” Tovar said. “The second one we have to predict what is going to happen there, (Reuben) is big and tall – they’re not going to shoot from that angle and we didn’t get to him in time.”
Still, it was hard for Tovar to be too upset with the Patriots’ performance. Injuries and grade issues have sidelined seven players, and a rugged stretch that included five games in as many days has also taken its toll. Next up is a trip Monday to unbeaten Lee’s Summit.
“We’ve had so many hurt that we had to rely on a lot of different people today,” Tovar said. “We’re banged up and this has been a hard two weeks for us with all the games we’ve had.”