Kansas State’s soccer season is coming to a close as regular season play ends on Thursday. The program has compiled a record of 6-8-3 before heading into their final game, looking to finish strong.
The team’s season experienced its ups and downs with many close games including 11 matches decided by one goal. Five matches had late scores, some leading to K-State victory and some to defeat. Junior goalkeeper Alaina Werremeyer witnessed the team show their true potential many times throughout the season.
“We’ve definitely seen progression throughout,” Werremeyer said. “I think there are definitely games that we want back. There are moments we play 89 good minutes, and the one [minute] is what lets us down. But, I think we have really been building towards something positive.”
Werremeyer has been exceptional at the goalie position, owning a majority of the school’s goalie records such as career matches played in goal, saves, career minutes and is tied for career shutouts with 10. She has built off of the opportunity from last season and hasn’t looked back.
“I finally feel like I have my feet under me. I have so much respect for the players that come in and play as a freshman because it is really difficult,” Werremeyer said. “Healthwise, I feel like this is my first college season that I’ve been playing relatively uninjured and I think that my communication and confidence is at an all time high.”
Werremeyer stands as a team leader through her love for the game and her teammates.
“Every single one of these girls just loves each other and loves this team,” Werremeyer said. “It is an investment to buy into a really young program and a lot of these girls –– the upperclassmen especially –– have been here and know what it’s like to be an underdog. I think we have put a team together that wants to work for everything they have put in.”
Going into her junior season, Werremeyer has provided a veteran presence. She placed emphasis on helping develop and nurture young talent.
“The college game is entirely different than club. It’s more tactical, and a high level of intelligence as far as the game goes,” Werremyer said. “It’s a trial by fire, but just work hard and have fun playing because you are going to learn and make mistakes. It will all come together.”
Senior forward Kyler Goins stands as the steady rhythm of the young K-State offense, complementing Werremeyer as the defensive catalyst. Goins leads the team in shots, points and shots on goal.
“We have done some things we have never done before, like beating Baylor away, tying Iowa State after losing to them last year, which has been an overall win for us,” Goins said. “Obviously we want to win more games, but so far it’s gone pretty good, so that’s important.”
Goins has many people in her life that motivate her to give her best effort.
“You want to win, not only for yourself but for the people that you love, people you consider family and the coaches that have just been amazing,” Goins said. “Especially [head coach Mike] Dibbini, just believing in me whenever I first transferred. I’ve always had the utmost respect for him.”
Goins has an impressive K-State career pushing her near the top of the record books. She is tied for second in career goals, goals per game and career points, and third in career shots on goal.
“My sister probably [is my biggest motivation],” Goins said. “She plays professional soccer for Louisville and she definitely helps me stay motivated, and when she comes home for the summer we train together and I look up to her, not only as a person but as a player too.”
Looking back at her career, Goins’ fondest moment comes from her junior season, tying West Virginia in front of Wildcat fans.
“Last year, I had the goal that tied the game up and it was just an amazing atmosphere,” Goins said. “The crowd was just going crazy and everyone was freaking out, and it was just probably my most memorable time here at K-State.”
Goins will be joined by Werremeyer and the rest of her teammates at 6 p.m. on Oct. 27 in Morgantown, West Virginia, to face off against the Mountaineers in the final match of the Wildcats season of peaks and valleys.