El-Naggar surges for a late draw in women’s soccer home opener

Sophomore defender Alyiah El-Naggar kicking the ball down the field on Saturday's game (April 10, 2021) against Iowa State at Busser Family Park Stadium. (Archive photo by Elizabeth Proctor | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State soccer team faced Wyoming on Sunday afternoon for the team’s second exhibition patch before the season starts next Thursday.

The Wildcats took seven shots in the first half of the match, but some great defense by Wyoming goalkeeper Alex Daws held the teams at 0-0 going into halftime.

Wyoming took the lead after the half when Camille Hawley passed to Alyssa Bedard, landing a strike into the bottom left of the K-State goal past sophomore goalkeeper Peyton Pearson.

The Wildcats kept attacking late in the second half, with efforts finally paying off in the 83rd minute when junior forward Marisa Weichel intercepted a pass in Wyoming territory. She quickly found junior defender Aliyah El-Naggar with a great pass, who buried the ball away in the top left corner to tie the score.

“Marisa [Weichel] played an awesome ball through and I was a little bit late to the run at first but I was like ‘you know what, we’ve got 10 minutes left in the game I might as well go full out and see where it is,’ El-Naggar said to K-State Athletics after the match. “I was a little nervous because she hit the back of my foot, and I was like, ‘I’m either going to fall or I’m going to shoot the ball.’ I just tried shooting it and actually thought I missed the goal, but it gladly went in and just felt great for our team to get that goal.”

This isn’t the only time El-Naggar has helped K-State score late to tie up a game. During the spring 2020 season, she scored the game-tying goal against Missouri with just 28 seconds left.

K-State ended the day with 19 total shots, 11 of which were on target. Marisa and Maddie Weichel led the team with four and three shots, respectively, while Wyoming goalkeeper Daws had 10 saves.

K-State Head coach Mike Dibbini spoke on the team’s willingness to take risks and determination late in the game.

“When you’re chasing the game, you’re a little bit more aggressive in attack,” Dibbini said. “That’s what we saw from our team, we took a little bit more risk and went at them more.”

The Wildcats start the 2021 season at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 19, against Weber State at Buser Family Park. K-State students at the game will receive free pizza and ice cream. The game will also be available on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.