Washburn soccer prepares for tough MIAA schedule

Needing a Win After an 0-4 start on the road, Washburn returns back home for their home opener Friday, Sept. 14 against Emporia State University. The Lady Blues will look to get their first win on home turf.

Luke Warnken

Losing is never fun. Losing nail-breakers in extra time is just heartbreaking. The Lady Blues soccer team fell victim again in overtime, this time 3-2 to Colorado Christian University.

“It obviously is really frustrating and I feel bad for my players and for my team because we’ve worked ever so hard,” said Tim Collins, Washburn head soccer coach. “We’re better than we were last year and to have some of the same demons crop up that we’ve worked really hard to eradicate is not what you expect and not what you want.”

Things didn’t get much better in Washburn’s next game as the Blues got shutout by the Orediggers of Colorado Mines. The 3-0 loss left WU with a 0-4 record heading into conference play. The final outcome may seem terrible for Washburn, but the No. 5 ranked Orediggers beat their two previous opponents 8-0, so a 3-0 loss is nothing to be ashamed of.

“The only thing that matters from the perspective of the public is the final result,” said Collins. “We’re going to get wins this year. No doubt in my mind.”

Washburn will have a shot to change their season around as conference play starts Friday, Sept. 14. WU will try to get their first victory, and win their conference opener, against rival Emporia State University at home.

“I was really impressed we recognized and pulled out the positives against Mines,” said Collins. “We’re ready to go against Emporia State.”

ESU comes into the Turnpike Tussle 2-2, coming off of a 1-0 loss to Upper Iowa University. The Lady Hornets will look to spoil Washburn’s home opener but Collins and company have other plans. Despite their losing record, Collins sees something in this year’s squad that he didn’t see last year.

“We attack with a flair,” said Collins.

The Lady Blues have managed to outshoot every opponent with the exception of Colorado Mines. Washburn must work on those shots leading to goals to bring home some victories. The Lady Blues’ win column may not be indicative of the Blues fierce style, but rivalries have a tendency to bring out the best in teams.

“It’s always bloodthirsty when you play Emporia State,” said Collins. “There will be a lot of fans on both sides. We’re really looking forward to the opportunity to play in front of our fans.”

Spearheading the Lady Blues offensive attack is junior midfielder/forward Caysie Beetley. Beetley has scored all three of Washburn’s goals this season. Senior Tia Stovall and freshman Sara Specht both have chipped in an assist on one of Beetley’s goals. Beetley will need some scoring help before the Blues can become an offensive juggernaut. Washburn must also learn to finish games.

“We’ve been in this situation [overtime] before and we know we’ve prepared for it,” said Collins. “We’re going to take it one game at a time and we want a lot of fans out there to watch us get a positive result against Emporia.”