K-State soccer to take on ninth-ranked Santa Clara

Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Emma Malsy kicks the ball back into action late in the second half of Thursday night's game against Drake University at the K-State Soccer Complex. K-State would go on to win the game 1-0. (Alex Masson | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State soccer team heads to Santa Clara, California, on Thursday for a matchup of undefeated teams. The team will take on Santa Clara University as the first match of a two-match West Coast swing that will finish up at San Jose State.

K-State head coach Mike Dibbini is at the helm of the best start in the young soccer program’s history. The Wildcats have achieved a 3-0-0 record, defeating Saint Louis, Oakland and Drake so far this season, with their largest win coming in a 4-0 rout of Oakland.

As a result of their school-best start, the Wildcats received seven votes in the latest United Soccer Coaches rankings released on Aug. 28.

Both the offense and defense have been performing at a high level early on this season for K-State.

This season, the Wildcats have scored six goals through three matches, whereas they scored just one in the first three matches of last season. Junior forward Katie Cramer is the Wildcats’ leading scorer. She has scored two goals and managed one assist.

K-State sophomore goalkeeper Emma Malsy has yet to surrender a goal in her three regular season starts. The defense has also only given up nine shots on goal, and has allowed just 6.7 shots per game, compared to 16.7 shots per game for K-State.

Santa Clara enters the matchup undefeated and with a 3-0-0 record as well and is currently No. 9 in the United Soccer Coaches rankings.

Last season, the Broncos posted a 15-7-1 overall record and an 8-1-0 record in West Coast Conference play behind a relatively young roster.

That record was good for a spot in the NCAA Tournament, a second place finish in the conference and a final United Soccer College Coaches ranking of No. 20.

Santa Clara has reloaded this season, returning both first-team all-WCC players from last season: sophomore forwards Kelsey Turnbow and Julie Doyle. It also returns two players from all-WCC second team.

Turnbow was also the WCC Freshman of the Year last season.

Junior forward Maddy Gonzalez leads all scorers for the Broncos with three goals on the young season. She has scored on half of her shots, and three-quarters of her shots on goal this year.

Wildcat fans can listen to the game live on 101.5 KROCK when it kicks off at 9:30 CDT on Thursday. K-State will play San Jose State on Sunday and its next action in Manhattan will be against UMKC on Friday, Sept. 7.

Hi! I'm Nathan Enserro, a graduate student from Olathe, Kansas, working on a Masters in Mass Communication. I graduated in spring 2020 with a Bachelor's of Science in strategic communications from K-State. This is my fourth year covering K-State sports for the Collegian.