The soccer team lost to the Jayhawks 1-0 Friday night after bringing the sixth-ranked team to the brink.
The Wildcats entered the fourth installment of the Sunflower Showdown aiming to take down the Jayhawks for the second time in school history.
Offensive woes hit K-State hard in 2020, putting just one goal in the net through three games.
“You’re only gonna get two or three real good looks, and we had at least two really good looks. We just need to be a little more patient and tuck those away,” K-State soccer head coach Mike Dibbini said.
Redshirt freshman Cameron Illingworth held the reigning Big 12 Conference champions to just one goal on five shots.
“I thought she stepped up big,” Dibbini said.
Illingworth made her first start as a Wildcat after coming out of quarantine on Thursday. Even with the limited practice, Illingworth looked like a natural and recorded four saves in the match.
“I was so nervous coming onto the field, but I was trying my best to hide it,” Illingworth said. “As soon as I caught the first ball that was crossed on the near post, everything just faded away.”
The Wildcats had their first chance to score in the twelfth minute of the game with a shot by senior midfielder Brookelynn Entz, but the shot sailed over the bar. Overall, the Wildcats took three shots in the first half.
Illingworth held the Jayhawks to zero at minute 20 with a save. The Jayhawks finished the first half with three shots, including a free kick by senior midfielder Ceri Holland that went over the post.
The Wildcats had nine fouls in the first half, including a yellow card on sophomore midfielder Shae Turner with five minutes remaining in the half.
The Wildcats and Jayhawks remained at zero for the first 45 minutes of the match, but Kansas had more possession time, holding the ball for 61 percent of the half. They held the possession near K-State’s defensive midfield.
Senior forward Mandi Duggan scored the first and only point of the match after an hour of play.
“We turned the ball over and they punished us on the three versus two courter-attack,” Dibbini said. “It started with that ball security moment. It was just one moment for them. They probably had one clear moment. They converted it and executed it. That’s experience right there.”
K-State struggled offensively in the second half recording just one shot on goal. The Jayhawks finished the game with five shots on goal.
Kansas led in possession throughout the majority of the match, holding the ball near midfield for 57 percent of the match.
K-State’s play the Texas Longhorns at 5 p.m. on Oct. 9 in Austin, Texas.