Soccer looks to stay aggressive entering Big 12 conference play

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The Kansas State women’s soccer team opens Big 12 play on Thursday against the Texas Longhorns. After a promising 5-4 record in non-conference play, Wildcat team members share their thoughts about the upcoming conference schedule.

Head coach Mike Dibbini and players said that physicality was one focal point in their success and part of their mission moving forward.

“You have to be [aggressive],” Dibbini said. “You have to compete for 90 minutes at this level. If we don’t have that mindset … it’s hard.”

One unorthodox way to get a team fired up is to get penalized, Dibibni said. In the game against UTRGV, super-senior Brookelynn Entz received a yellow card in the 25th minute.

“It kind of surprised me,” Dibbini said. “…but it gave us a little bit of energy, and showed that she’s very competitive and has what it takes to win games.”

Entz still saw the good in the situation, sharing that she might keep up her foul play.

“We need to have that kind of swag as a team,” Entz said. “It probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do, but I have the same amount of yellow cards as goals, so maybe that trend will continue.”

As a young program only starting in 2016, K-State saw their best non-conference record so far at 5-4. With Entz being around for most of those years, she is impressed with the team’s direction.

“Me being here all these years, to see how this program has developed, and to see those records being set … that’s the reason I came back, I wanted to see that happen, and I wanted to be a part of it,” Entz said.

One record on the verge of being broken is Entz’s season goal-scoring record. Set at seven total goals after this past season, transfer junior Marisa Weichel already has five goals this year.

“That would be incredible,” Weichel said. “I would love to beat it … obviously the team is playing really well if we’re scoring goals.”

The Big 12 opener on Thursday against Texas is more than just a game, however. This past year, the Wildcats suffered an excruciating 7-0 loss to the Longhorns, a game that featured a score within the first two minutes of the contest and two goals within a minute of each other late in the second half.

Dibbini said this is something that has been in the back of his mind going into this game.

“I haven’t really talked about it,” Dibbini said. “Me personally, I think about it, but I don’t talk about it. From a psychological standpoint, we just worry about us and what we can do.”

K-State takes on Texas at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Buser Family Park in Manhattan. The theme for the game is “White-Out” and can be watched on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.

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