The Kansas State soccer team is hoping to rebound after a tough 3-0 season opening loss against Oklahoma State last weekend. After squaring off with last year’s regular-season champions, the road will get a little easier for the Wildcats as they take on West Virginia on Friday, a team picked to finish below K-State in the Big 12 Conference preseason poll.
The team continues without starting goalkeeper Rachel Harris, who sustained an injury before the Wildcats game against OSU and is out for the season, head coach Mike Dibbini said at the Wednesday press conference.
Without their veteran goalkeeper, freshman goalkeeper Alaina Werremeyer started for K-State against OSU.
Even without her on the field, Werremeyer said Harris has been there for her while she’s taken over the starting duties.
Dibbini said the starting keeper for Friday’s game is still to be decided but listed freshman goalkeeper Peyton Pearson as another possible choice for Friday’s matchup.
The good news for the Wildcats is they should be getting senior midfielder Brookelynn Entz back on Friday. Entz had to miss the first game due to an injury.
“I’m feeling really good,” Entz said. “I’m definitely going to play,”
Entz said watching the loss on Saturday from the sidelines was tough for her.
“I was so upset,” Entz said. “We haven’t played in six, seven months and I wanted to play so bad.”
The senior captain said she tried to encourage her teammates and help out even though she couldn’t be on the field, but she’s excited to be able to make an impact on the field this week.
After the 3-0 loss on Saturday, Entz realized the team still has a lot to work on to get back on track.
“We’re trying to make a lot of changes,” Entz said. “We realized that we’re not good enough and we have a lot of things to work on.”
Dibbini said being without Entz and Harris made Saturday’s matchup even tougher on his young squad. He is hoping K-State can be more mentally prepared moving forward.
Dibbini also said he hopes to see the team play more relaxed and confident this Friday.
“The anxiety and nerves cause us to panic and to sit back a little bit instead of being the aggressor,” Dibbini said.
Even after the loss, Entz said this team is still valuing every second and are grateful to be playing soccer right now.
“You never know when the last time is gonna be during these crazy times,” Entz said. “All of a sudden it could be over. And so we have to treat every single practice [and] every single game like it’s the last.”