Wildcats’ soccer team finishes season with loss

Sophomore forward Tatum Wagner keeps her opponent away from the ball in the game against UMKC at the K-State Soccer Complex on Sept. 30, 2016. (Sabrina Cline | The Collegian)

The Kansas State soccer team finished its season on a low note Thursday night, falling 2-0 to the Illinois State Redbirds.

The loss meant the Wildcats fell to 4-9-3 after their first season.

Despite a flurry of shots throughout the game, the Wildcats held the Redbirds scoreless the entire first half. But in the 48th minute, the Redbirds’ redshirt senior midfielder Lauren Koehl finally broke the tie, beating redshirt junior goalkeeper Miranda Larkin to give the Redbirds a 1-0 lead, which ended up being all the Redbirds needed.

“Defensively, we did a good job,” K-State head coach Mike Dibbini said to K-State Sports. “We held them scoreless in the first half. In the second half, the match opened up. We continued to battle and we didn’t give up. We had a couple opportunities late in the game that could have put us back in the game but we just weren’t able to convert.”

The Redbirds got the insurance goal in the 60th minute when freshman midfielder Abby Basler beat Larkin to seal the win for the Redbirds.

The Wildcats played tough, even despite being crushed in the shot totals. The Redbirds outshot the Wildcats 21-4 and held a 9-2 advantage in shots on goal through the game.

Despite the loss, Dibbini said the team worked hard this season.

“These young women have done a tremendous job this year,” Dibbini said to K-State Sports. “I am proud of them.”

“They have laid a great foundation for the future for the program,” Dibbini continued. “We did the improbable this year by starting from scratch in a power five conference. It was going to be difficult to get wins from the beginning but we did and we also played very close matches against some quality opponents this season. We look forward to continuing to build the program for future success.”

Shelton grew up in the desert southwest. A native of Lancaster, California, he mostly grew up in south Phoenix, Arizona; Austin, Texas; and Colorado Springs, Colorado before moving to Kansas and graduating from Junction City High School. He started working as a news writer for the Collegian in 2009 before taking a three-year break from college. He returned to K-State in 2013 and has since worked for the news desk, feature desk, as a copy editor and now as a sports writer. He enjoys tap dancing, writing anything possible, reading court opinions and watching Arizona Coyotes hockey.