The Kansas State Wildcats soccer team completed their four game homestand Friday night, with a 2-0 win over UMKC.
The win was the second straight for the Wildcats, who before the game celebrated their lone senior, defender Abbey Fiser as part of “Senior Night.”
The Wildcats came out slow against the Kangaroos. In the first half, the Kangaroos kept the Wildcats from getting a single shot on goal while registering four themselves. Even in shots that weren’t on net, the Kangaroos led 9-4 going into halftime.
K-State redshirt junior goalkeeper Miranda Larkin did what she’s been doing all season long for the Wildcats: shutting out opponents.
Larkin made three saves in the first half to keep the game scoreless, and made two in the second en route to her second straight shutout. She now has five this season in 10 total starts.
“All I wanted was to get into the second half with a 0-0 game so we could make the right adjustments,” Dibbini said. “Larkin did a really good job of keeping us in the game. We had chances, they had chances, but she kept us in the game and then we took care of business in the second half.”
Freshman midfielder Ashley Zane said having Larkin back in net makes it easier for the team offensively.
“Having her saves us so much,” Zane said. “UMKC had a lot of opportunities on us but her saves saved us.”
Zane’s goal in the 51st minute was the goal that broke the deadlock in the game. Though UMKC had forced Larkin to make three saves and the team to block another in the first half, K-State’s first shot on net of the game went in.
It was Zane’s first goal at the collegiate level. Zane said it felt good to score.
“It’s awesome,” Zane said. “I’ve been working hard this year and never got my opportunity to score.”
Zane said the goal was even more special because of who it came against.
“It’s great to score against UMKC,” Zane said. “I actually got offered (a scholarship) there and was about to go before I headed here. So it was awesome to finally get that first goal against UMKC.”
Zane’s goal gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead, and from there, they started to claw their way back into the game offensively, getting good shots, many of which came courtesy of runs by freshman midfielder Laramie Hall.
Then, in the 82nd minute, Hall got a ball in some space and scored the goal that essentially sealed the victory for the Wildcats.
“It was really good, especially because we kind of have a habit of letting (other teams) come back,” Hall said.
Before the current winning streak, the Wildcats had allowed two straight comebacks, losing one game and getting stuck with a draw in the second. Hall, however, said the team didn’t seem to let up in the end of the game like they had in previous ones.
“I think we kind of got it together and we know in the last 10 minutes that’s kind of a tough spot for us, or at least it has been in the past,” Hall said. “We got together and we made sure that we’re still attacking in the least then minutes, not just sitting back and I think that helped us a lot.”
After being dominated statistically in the first half, the Wildcats scored two goals in the second and outshot UMKC 6-2 in the goals on net in the second half.
Dibbini said the team wanted to avoid playing in the center of the field because that was an area of strength for the Kangaroos.
“It felt good,” Dibbini said. “It was a really good win. It was a collective effort by the defensive and offensive and goalkeeping. This is probably our best overall performance and I’m very pleased.”