Soccer secures third straight win with last minute goal

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Freshman midfielder Adah Anderson moves the ball past a defender during the Aug. 22 game against Omaha at Buser Family Park. (Archive photo by Sophie Osborn | Collegian Media Group)

It was a stressful afternoon for the Kansas State soccer team (3-1-0). Playing in high temperatures all game long, the team saw opportunity after opportunity but couldn’t seem to put the ball in the back of the net.

That was until junior defender Aliyah El-Naggar raced down the sidelines in the 90th minute, finding freshman forward Adah Anderson in the middle of the box. Anderson hit the crossbar with her initial strike, grabbed the rebound and put the ball away, giving the Wildcats a 1-0 victory over the University of North Alabama (0-2-2).

“It was kind of a blur,” Anderson said to K-State Athletics about the winner. “I saw Aliyah running down the line and I knew I had to try to do anything I could to put it in. So honestly, just props to Aliyah for working that hard to give me a tap in.”

K-State put immense pressure on the Lions’ defense throughout the game. Over the first 45 minutes of gameplay, the Wildcats had seven shots as opposed to the Lion’s two. The pressure increased in the second half, with K-State putting up 17 shots in an attempt for the opening score.

On the defensive end of the pitch, sophomore goalkeeper Peyton Pearson had her second shutout this season and in as many games started. This marks four career shutouts for Pearson, moving her up to third in school history for career shutouts.

Between the two starting goalkeepers — Pearson and sophomore Alaina Werremeyer — K-State has kept the other team scoreless in three consecutive games and nearly 300 minutes. If they shut out the Denver Pioneers on Thursday, they will break a school record for consecutive shutouts.

With a 5-0 victory over Austin Peay on Friday and today’s 1-0 win over North Alabama, K-State has won back-to-back games away from home in the same weekend for the first time in school history.

“We’ve never been able to do what we’ve done this weekend,” K-State head coach Mike Dibbini said to K-State Athletics about the wins this weekend. “Any win at this level is tough. Winning is hard, we know that, but getting on the road and doing it twice, especially on an adverse Sunday like we had today, shows the growth in our program, a level of maturity and the leadership of our players. I’m just excited for the girls right now. Yes, we have a lot of challenges in front of us, but we know winning is hard and we’ll take this.”

K-State stays on the road, traveling to Denver, Colorado, Thursday to play the Pioneers before visiting Fort Collins, Colorado, to play Colorado State on Sunday.

Thursday’s game against the 2020-21 Summit League champions kicks off at 8 P.M. For live stats during the game, visit kstatesports.com or follow @KStateSOC on Twitter.

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