Soccer team falls to Emporia State

Women's Soccer fought hard against Emporia State, but Emporia State came out on top. This concludes the regular season for WSOC. 

On Friday Oct. 26, the women’s soccer team entered Yager Stadium for Senior Day as they took on a nearby rival, Emporia State. 

It did not take long for the action to begin as the Hornets were quick to attack and have their first attempt sailed wide right. 

After multiple changes of possessions, the Hornets were granted a free kick after a foul by senior forward Kelsi Smith. The shot was nowhere close and the Ichabods regained possession.

The Bods were quick to attack but a pass went out of bounds. The Hornets got back to pressing the Ichabods as the Emporia State offense almost pushed ahead 1-0, but a save by freshman goalkeeper Bailee Russell stopped the Hornets. 

With 37 minutes to go in the first half, the Ichabod offense forced Emporia State into a foul, but the ensuing free kick was blocked by a Hornet defender. Right after that, the Hornets were back on the attack, but after multiple tries for a goal, Russell blocked a cross from the Hornets to give the Ichabods the ball again. Back on the attack, sophomore midfielder Tera Lynch had a shot, but it sailed wide right.

After a failed corner kick by the Hornets, the Ichabods pushed the ball down the field only for a shot by freshman forward Josie Rimmer to go right into the hands of the Emporia State goalkeeper. The Hornets then got the ball back and took it all the way down the field, but their shot was just a bit outside.

 At the 22 minute mark, senior forward Paige Swanson checked in for Smith. 

At the 29 minute mark, the Ichabods had the ball and were on the attack, but after a great pass to junior forward Olivia Grasso, she stepped up and took a shot at the goal. Sadly, her shot was just a bit high. The Hornets had another shot, but their header was too high as well. 

The Hornets broke the scoring drought as a shot from five yards out made it past Russell. Then, after multiple tries, the Hornets came close to tacking on another goal, but the Ichabod defense snuffed out their attempts.

Following that, senior midfielder Mackenzie Heiman attempted a corner kick that gave junior forward Olivia Grasso a great attempt to score, but her header went out of bounds.

At the end of the first half the Hornets were up 1-0. 

The Ichabods would open the second half with the ball. However, it was the Hornets who were the first to attack, but their shot was wide. 

While both teams would have troubles pushing the ball up the field, the rivalry was showing as the physicality of the game increased with each pass. 

15 minutes into the second half the Hornets were awarded a corner kick. The ensuing kick was placed well, but the following header went too high. A little while later, the Hornets had a sure-fire goal but sophomore defender Whitney Bockover hustled down the field to make an incredible block to keep the game 1-0. 

A few minutes later, the Hornets were awarded a penalty kick after they were fouled near the goal. The Hornets added to their lead as their kicker sent the shot just over the hand of Russell. 

After a save by Russell, the Ichabods were on the prowl to get back within one. The Ichabods were fouled and set up close to the goal for a free kick, but the kick was shot too high. Soon after that, senior midfielder Mackenzie Heiman took a shot that was sent too wide as the score remained 2-0 in favor of the Hornets. 

The Hornets had a couple more chances to add to their lead but all of them were stopped by Russell.

The Ichabods had a chance to score, but the shot from Rimmer would be sworn off by the Emporia State goalkeeper.

The Ichabods were not able to break the Emporia State defense as the game ended in a 2-0 loss. The Bods fought hard the whole way through physical defenders and seemingly lenient officials.

“We expected that they were gonna be a physical team coming into tonight. We can never count on the refs to keep the game from getting out of hand,” Bockover said. 

“Every team we play there is a different set of refs, we just have to match up as best as we can, and that college soccer is a physical game,” sophomore defender Jenna Shortridge said. “We just have to push through it and play to the best of our ability.”

The loss moves the Ichabods to 7-8-2 on the year. They will finish their regular season at Fort Hays State Sunday, Oct. 28 were they hope to clinch a spot in the MIAA Tournament. 

“The conference is always pretty closely matched up, so we just know whoever we are up against, it’s gonna be a battle,” Shortridge said. “We are gonna come in with the same mindset that we are gonna battle it out a full 90 minutes. It doesn’t matter who we play we are going to be ready to go into the tournament.”