Lady Blues tie twice during weekend, retire Horvath’s jersey

Headway Washburn defender Lisa Fahey heads the ball as teammate Jordan Shefte looks on in Friday’s 1-1 tie with Missouri Southern. Fahey has three goals on the year in all 12 starts.

After 110 minutes of action, the Lady Blues could not get on the scoreboard, but the 2,071 fans in attendance were enough to get Washburn soccer back in the record books.

Washburn reclaimed its Division II women’s soccer attendance record, which was broken earlier this season by 2,004 fans at a Central Oklahoma game. Despite the unmatched crowd size, two overtimes were not enough for the Lady Blues (5-4-3, 3-2-2 MIAA) to score in Thursday’s 0-0 draw against Southwest Baptist (4-4-2, 3-2-1).

“Having a big crowd always helps us get momentum going, all the excitement definitely helps us,” said defender Kaydi Hooker. “We’re supposed to be able to win the games and keep that momentum, but definitely having big crowds help, and we love having fans come out.”

The Lady Blues had to play yet another double overtime game the next night, this time against Missouri Southern (7-2-2, 4-2-1), and tied again 1-1. Playing less than 24 hours after two overtimes may have taken a toll on Washburn near the end of Friday’s game, as it allowed the game-tying goal with just more than six minutes in regulation.

“That’s part of the game,” said midfielder Traci Nigg. “I actually have more confidence going into overtime because we’re more fit than a lot of other teams.”

Any player would be drained physically after playing 220 minutes of soccer in two days, but the emotional letdown of a tie may be even worse considering the Lady Blues held a 1-0 lead for 50 minutes against MSSU.

“We’re 5-4-3, but if we continue to keep tying in these last eight games or so, we’ll be 5-4-11, and that doesn’t get us anywhere,” said Nigg.

Before Friday’s game, the team retired the jersey of former defender Megan Horvath. Horvath was a player on the original Washburn soccer team, scored the first goal in team history and was one of the biggest reasons for the program’s turnaround in 2006.

“She’s done so much for the program,” said Hooker. “She’s been here since the beginning and worked hard to get us where we are today.”

The current Lady Blues hope that they can replicate the toughness Horvath brought to the team as they try to make a run at repeating the success they had a season ago.

“We have to start winning the close games if we want to get to the conference tournament and into regionals like we did last year,” said Nigg.