Within a week, Kansas State postponed their season opener against Texas Tech, and rescheduled their meeting with Oklahoma State to Saturday. The Wildcats were finally able to take the pitch for the first time this season on Saturday night at Buser Family Park.
However, the first game jitters showed for the Wildcats fast — they found themselves down 2-0 in just over the first two minutes of the match en route to a 3-0 defeat to start their 2020 season.
Oklahoma State junior midfielder Grace Yochum was the first Cowboy to score in that two-minute span, floating a shot over K-State goalkeeper Alaina Werremeyer’s head to take a 1-0 lead with just under two minutes gone.
Just a few seconds later, OSU senior Gabriella Coleman netted the second goal of the game, stunning the crowd.
“I thought we were mentally scared and timid the first five to ten minutes,” head coach Mike Dibbini said. “We gave up goals that cost us the game, it’s hard at this level when you’re giving up goals that early to come back.”
While falling to the Cowboys was tough enough for the Wildcats, K-State also lost their starting goalkeeper, junior Rachel Harris, prior to Saturday.
With Harris out for the season, the Wildcats had to rely on newcomer Werremeyer in goal. While the result was not what Werremeyer wanted, she still had high praise for her teammates.
“There’s a lot of anticipation going into the game,” Werremeyer said. “I was really excited and my girls took care of me so I felt really settled in. They make it easy to play behind.”
Werremeyer finished her night with two saves.
Not only were the Wildcats down their starting goalkeeper, but they were down their star player as well, senior midfielder Brookelynn Entz.
Coach Dibbini said after the game that Entz had been nursing an injury and he hopes that she will be able to return in time for the Wildcats trip to West Virginia on Friday.
Down those two players, the Wildcats were already at a disadvantage before going down 2-0 in the first two minutes to the defending Big 12 Champions.
OSU added a third goal in the thirty-second minute to make it 3-0, putting the match just about out of reach before halftime.
K-State fought back in the second half on the field, holding the Cowboys scoreless after their explosive start, and the Wildcats even held the advantage in shots 6-5.
“In the halftime talk, we were trying to figure out where the disconnect was between our teammates and just trying to get the ball and switching it so I think coming together at halftime and trying to get the whole team on the same page and having more fire in us [helped],” senior defender Shelby Lierz said.
However, when it was all said and done the Wildcats just couldn’t turn their opportunities into points in the second half, and OSU walked away with a 3-0 victory.
It was almost a miracle that the game was played on Saturday — K-State and OSU managed to work out their meeting just a little over a day before the match kicked off.
Oklahoma State’s original game on Friday night was called off due to positive COVID-19 tests on the Oklahoma side, while K-State’s original match on Friday against Texas Tech was called off for the same reason on the Texas Tech side.
“It was a challenge for the preparation stage and that’s what we saw tonight,” Dibbini said. “What you saw was an experienced team that came in and was prepared for us, had we had another day or two to prepare, maybe the storyline is different.”
Overall OSU finished the night with the advantage on shots 10-9 with Coleman owning the Cowboys’ shots, firing off six, with three of them being on goal and one going into the back of the net.
K-State was led by senior midfielder Christina Baxter and sophomore forward Kyler Goins who both had two shots throughout the game.
K-State will play next at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 18 in West Virginia against the Mountaineers, hoping to grab their first win of the season.