How Christina Baxter’s versatility impacts K-State soccer

Junior midfielder Christina Baxter passes through a tunnel made by her teammates before starting the game against the Texas Longhorns on Sept. 29, 2019. (Dylan Connell | Collegian Media Group)

Number 19 on the field has been one of head coach Mike Dibbini’s go-to players since her addition to the team in 2017.

Junior midfielder Christina Baxter played in every match Kansas State competed in since she joined the team. She accumulated 15 starts for the Wildcats during her freshman and sophomore year. Baxter also started each of K-State’s 12 matches so far this season.

After the team’s loss to Oklahoma State on Sunday, Baxter racked up a total of 2,656 minutes of on-field action in her career at K-State. During those minutes, Baxter scored three goals and picked up two assists.

This has been a year of new positions and opportunities for Baxter as she was tasked with playing offensively and defensively.

Depending on where Baxter is needed, she is up for the challenge.

Baxter said she is used to playing on the wings, something that helped her have a smooth transition from attacking to defending. As a winger, one is tasked to run up and down the sidelines to attack and defend depending on possession.

“It’s been challenging, but it’s a good challenge,” Baxter said. “I can see different points of view from the field, and I think it’s better for me to be more versatile. In the position that I’m playing, I play forward and defense, so I’ve also been running a lot, so it’s challenging for me as well to get into shape and run up and down the field. But I’ve been enjoying it.”

Baxter said she is content with the added responsibility of playing multiple positions on the field, but admits it has been a transition period filled with learning and getting acclimated to playing defense.

Assistant coach Gabe Romo helped her through this transition period, Baxter said.

“I’ve had to work with Gabe a lot, like, positioning and how to move my feet because I’m not used to moving my feet the way defenders do, because I’ve never played this before, now I’m just getting used to it,” Baxter said.

Baxter said she is proud of the work her team has put into the young program.

“I’m super proud of all of us so far. We’ve worked so hard to get here and we can’t give up because we’ve worked so hard. I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

You can catch Baxter in action on Friday at 7 p.m. when the Wildcats host Iowa State at Buser Family Park.