K-State soccer drops first match of 2018 to No. 9 Santa Clara

Junior forward Katie Cramer battles with a Drake defender during the second half of Thursday nights 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 gave up goals early and late in the game Thursday night, losing its first match of the year 2-0 to ninth-ranked Santa Clara and ending the program’s three-game winning streak.

Santa Clara took the lead in the 19th minute off a penalty kick from redshirt senior forward Maria Sanchez, member of the 2015 Mexico World Cup squad. Santa Clara added a goal off a rebound in the 73rd minute.

K-State had a chance to take an early lead in just the fourth minute. Lead scorer Katie Cramer had a solid look after stealing the ball at midfield and firing a shot from 20 years out, requiring a diving save from Broncos goalkeeper Melissa Lowder.

The Wildcats also had a chance to tie the match just before the half arrived, but Lowder made another save on a shot from Wildcat midfielder Brookelynn Entz.

The Broncos outshot the Wildcats, 21 attempts to eight. K-State had six shots on goal compared to Santa Clara’s 10.

The Wildcats are the last Big 12 team to give up a goal this season, going 228:23 of total game time before giving up the early goal to Sanchez.

Malsy made eight saves on the night despite allowing two goals. She now has 16 total saves on the season.

Head coach Mike Dibbini said he was pleased with K-State’s performance against its first ranked opponent of the season and one of the top teams in the country.

“They executed the game plan and they generated some solid chances,” Dibbini said to K-State Athletics. “That was a really good team there. We have nothing to hang our heads about tonight. We did some positive things against a solid opponent. This game was a tough loss for us, but it also builds us and builds our character going forward.”

The Wildcats now head to San Jose, California to take on the San Jose Spartans on Sunday. The Spartans (0-2-1) are looking for their first win of the year. They are coming off a 1-1 tie against California Polytechnic State University.

The match will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday. The match can be heard on 101.5 KROCK in Manhattan and be followed on kstatesports.com.