Soccer looks for continued success, broken records while on the road

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K-State celebrates after Maddie Weichel scores against Texas Tech in the final half of the soccer match. KSU finished the night 2-0 against TTU on senior night at Buser Family Park, Friday, Nov. 13, 2020. (Archive photo by Dylan Connell | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State soccer is on a roll, setting school records for consecutive road wins in school history and on the brink of breaking the school record for consecutive shutout games.

Head coach Mike Dibbini and other players touched on this and more in this week’s media availability session with the team.

Head Coach Mike Dibbini

Coach Dibbini gave his thoughts on the team’s success and their momentum during this away-game stretch.

“I think they haven’t been here before and they haven’t done that before and I think that they’re excited and they’re learning that if they believe and if they continue to believe — even through some adversity — big things can happen for them,” Dibbini said.

K-State is on the verge of setting a team record for consecutive road wins in a weekend after back-to-back wins against Austin Peay (5-0) and North Alabama (1-0) this past weekend.

“It’s great in the moment, but we have bigger goals and we want to focus on what’s in front of us,” Dibbini said. “If we can continue to do that, I think we’re just going to keep getting better.”

Midfielder Brookelynn Entz

Entz talked about the team’s overall confidence given their success on the road so far.

“[The momentum] is huge, especially for me being here this whole time and being able to see the progression of this program,” Entz said.

As one of the captains for this squad, Entz talked about how important it is for the program to break records and leave its mark on K-State history.

“It means so much and it’s been a long process it feels like but, I mean, I think it’s been a shorter process than anybody expected,” Entz said. “I think the way that our program is headed, it’s going in a much faster trajectory than anybody expected, and I think it’s really cool to see that.”

A big focus during the team’s preseason media day was the bonding and camaraderie the team has experienced so far this season.

“Obviously winning fixes a lot, so we’re all happy, we’re all coming together and we’re all having fun together after we win and I think being on the road helps because we get to spend a lot of time together,” Entz said.

Midfielder Adah Anderson

Anderson commented on the team’s success and what it means to her as a first-year Wildcat.

“It’s crazy,” Anderson said. “I think it’s really fun to be part of history, but this team really deserves it and we’ve been working hard and it’s really exciting … we just hope to keep it going and continue to keep breaking records. That’s the goal.”

As one of the new freshmen seeing time on the field, Anderson stressed the importance of continued success for the team.

“It means a lot from the older girls … they were very like, ‘OK, we’re here, we have our team, let’s go, let’s do our thing and let’s go break records,'” Anderson said. “It was a very welcoming environment and it feels awesome just to really get this program going where it deserves.”

Anderson currently leads all freshmen on the team in goals (1), points (2), shooting percentage (.167), shots on goal (3) and shot-on-goal percentage (.500).

Defender Aliyah El-Naggar

El-Naggar spoke on everything from road momentum to the impact of new players, putting most of the emphasis on the bonding and camaraderie this season.

“I think it’s awesome right now, just the atmosphere here and the competitive mindset that everyone has,” El-Naggar said. “We are all wanting to compete for each other and you can honestly feel the love on the field.

With their success so far, El-Naggar said confidence in the team isn’t even a question right now.

“I am very confident. I don’t even think confidence is the right word, it’s just knowing that we all have each other’s backs,” El-Naggar said. “I never have a moment where I’m kind of scared to go out on the field, I just know that we will be able to achieve a lot with this team this season.”

Goalkeepers Peyton Pearson & Alaina Werremeyer

A big factor in the possible record of consecutive games with a shutout, Werremeyer talked about how important it is for the program to break the record.

“It’s huge. We are new and we are young and we definitely had to fight our way up … and the Big 12 isn’t an easy conference to be introduced into,” Werremeyer said. “Just little baby steps for us is just amazing, and little achievements as we go are good, but we hope that they keep building as we go.”

Werremeyer gave her defensive teammates credit for the success of the goalkeepers this season.

“It’s the whole defensive half of the field, to be honest, this last weekend our defenders made it really easy on us,” Werremeyer said. “We didn’t have much to do, and that’s the best game to have, and they’re doing amazing.”

Pearson and Werremeyer have split their time in the goal throughout the season.

“We love competing with each other,” Pearson said. “We’re friends off the field and we support each other no matter what. For example, at halftime, if one of us is playing we’ll tell each other, ‘Good job, you’re doing great.’ We’ll get each other water and it is constant competition, but it’s friendly.”

The K-State soccer team continues its road stretch facing Denver (3-0-0) at 8 p.m. on Thursday, followed by a trip to Colorado State (0-1-1) to play the Rams at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Thursday’s match will stream on Pioneers All-Access, and Sunday’s match will be available on the Mountain West Network. Both services require subscriptions. A link for live stats during both matches will be available at kstatesports.com.

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