Wildcat soccer drops home opener against Northwestern

In the air, senior Jessie Loren goes up for a header to defend the goal during the game against the Air Force on April 10, 2022. (Archive photo by Macey Franko | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State soccer suffers a heartbreaking defeat in its season opener against Big 10 opponent Northwestern, 2-1. K-State scored first at the six-minute mark, but ended in disbelief with a bicycle goal from Northwestern’s Emma Phillips.

With excitement buzzing at Buser Family Park in Manhattan, K-State’s early goal developed from a corner-kick. The high-flying ball was deflected off Jazmin Brown’s header and landed into the side of sophomore midfielder Adah Anderson’s foot to squeak past the chaos and find netting.

K-State’s sporadic offensive attack only resulted in eight shots and an additional shot on goal outside of Anderson’s tone-setting goal six minutes after kickoff. The soft penetration forced Wildcat defenders to step-up and fight aggressively against skill and fatigue.

Meanwhile, Northwestern’s offense continued attacking for the next 84 minutes of the match, despite the early deficit and physical aggression from K-State. Over the course of 84 minutes, the Wildcats from Chicago manufactured 18 shots with 11 shots on goal.

K-State’s new defensive look of intermingled veterans and rookies kept pace with Ella Hase’s threatening skills, escaping a nightmare matchup for the majority of the game. However, after a number of missed opportunities, Northwestern’s resiliency paid off in comeback fashion.

Junior goalkeeper Alaina Werremeyer made a number of incredible stops along the way to try and prevent the comeback win. Two of the stops featured agility and bravery with her legs, making an open-field sliding stop at the six-yard line with 33 minutes to play and the other stop coming earlier in the contest with a reflexive jolt from her back thigh.

Marisa Weichel settled into her defensive position with boundaries and speed, following a season at a forward position. None of Northwestern’s goals were scored directly against the veteran player.

K-State seeks its first win of the 2022 campaign at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 21 against Northern Colorado at Buser Family Park. Tickets are available for purchase at K-State Sports.