K-State drops conference opener to Oklahoma State 3-1

Wildcat senior Tatum Wagner runs the ball up field for an attempted shot on goal. The Wildcats lost the game 3-1. (Rowan Jones | Collegian Media Group)

The Wildcats were shutout 3-0 Friday as they began conference play with a loss to No. 15 Oklahoma State.

K- State competed very well in the first half, holding the Cowgirls scoreless as it was a tie game at halftime. The shot total was in favor of Oklahoma State 9-4, as well as the shots on goal 5-1.

In the second half, K-State had an opportunity to get on the scoreboard first and to get momentum completely on their side, as sophomore Hannah Davis got the ball in Oklahoma State territory. Davis had a good look at the goal, took a shot, but it just passed the upper left corner of the goal post.

Then Oklahoma State began to take control of the match as Cowgirl junior forward Julia Lenhardt got the Cowgirls going in the first half as she scored early eight minutes into the second half around the 37-minute mark.

A minute later in the at the 36-minute mark, senior forward Marlo Zoller of Oklahoma State added another goal to make the lead 2-0 for the Cowgirls as they created some distance on the Wildcats.

K-State’s sophomore goalkeeper Emma Malsey talked about what went wrong in the second half.

“Our execution, being disciplined on set pieces,” Malsey said after the game. “That was something that really let us down. When you’re in the Big 12, teams are going to capitalize on those key moments – there few to come by – and when you give them up they’re definitely going to capitalize on them.”

Lenhardt added an extra insurance goal for the Cowgirls with 19:32 remaining for her second goal of the game to put her team up 3-0.

But the Wildcats refused to give up and continued to play hard. As senior defender, Haley Sutter put the Wildcats on the board with a goal with 3:09 remaining in the second half.

“We played with a lot of urgency at the end,” Sutter said after the game. “We were down by three goals, had nothing to lose. We just got it up, Laramie made a great cross, and I was lucky to be there to finish.”

Head coach Mike Dibbini did have some positive words to say about his team’s performance after the game.

“I thought we played really well, with urgency and competed at a high level,” Dibbini said. “We just had some bad luck in terms of key moments of the game. I saw a lot of positives, everybody in the game did something. We just dug ourselves in a hole.”

As the Wildcats will now get ready for the Oklahoma Sooners to come to Manhattan on Sunday. Malsey had very strong words about how she feels about bouncing back on Sunday against Oklahoma.

“When you’re in conference there is a huge shift in mentality, it’s something that we need to catch up on a little bit,” Malsey said after the game. “I think going into Sunday is a great opportunity to show what we’re made of. Coming off a 3-1 loss people are going to expect us to be down. This is where we show teams what we’re made of and who we are as K-State soccer.”

The Sooners (4-6-0) are coming off a loss to No.24 Kansas in double overtime. The Wildcats now (4-4-2) will be looking to bounce back and record their first conference win of the season.

The game will be able to be heard on 101.5 KROCK and live stats can be followed at kstatesports.com.