Bright future within reach following victories

Last Minute: The Ichabod offense looks to score from the side of Fort Hay’s defense. The Ichabods won 1-0 over Fort Hays on Sept 23.

Dylan McManis

Over the course of a single weekend, the Washburn women’s soccer team has propelled themselves to five victories on the season, matching the number of wins that they had last fall.

Currently, the Ichabods hold a 5-2-1 record, earned after their two victories over the weekend. While there is reason to celebrate, it must be mentioned that the Ichabods won both their games within the last 20 minutes.

“We came out strong in the first 20 minutes, but then we were on the back foot for most of the rest of the game,” said Coach Chris Jones, when talking about the team’s victory 1-0 over Fort Hays State Sept. 23.

“Soccer’s a funny game, but we stuck it out and it’s hard to explain, but we had the muster at the end to sneak one in,” said Jones.

Specifically, Washburn’s Lexi Baton snuck the ball into the goal using a header with 5:08 left on the clock. This was the sophomore mid-fielder’s first goal of the season.

“To play a team like that and come away victorious, it’s a good win for us,” said Jones. “We can play a lot better, especially against them. I mean, I’ll come out and say it, we got pretty lucky in my opinion. But I know we can play better, and I know that they can play better, so that at the end of the season, when we play them again, anything can happen and they will be out for blood.”

The last regular season game for the two teams is their rematch in Hays, Kansas. With Fort Hay’s record being comparable with Washburn’s currently, that match could likely decide seeds for the MIAA Championship.

Nebraska-Kearney was the other team the Ichabods defeated over the weekend. With a 1-0 victory on Sept. 25, the Ichabods followed up on their victory in Kearney, Nebraska a week prior when they defeated Nebraska-Kearney 2-1 Sept. 18. Like the Fort Hays game, the team couldn’t manage a goal during the first half.

“We did the best we could have in the first half, we came out a little flat,” said Jones. “There’s a lot that went into it, the players are banged up a little bit. We had four games in seven days. Sunday, Tuesday, Friday Sunday this week and I think a lot of that had to do with us trying to recover for every game this week. They brought as much as they could, when they could.”

Despite the lack of energy, the Ichabods managed to rally in the second half, allowing Olivia Stovall to put in a goal with 17 minutes left on the clock. This was the sophomore forward’s second goal of the season.

“We made some adjustments at half time and it certainly put them on the back foot during the second half,” said Jones.

The coach notes after both games, that there needs to be improvements made if the team wants to go further in the season. Although the team has improved compared to the previous season, there is always more work to be done.

“We need to work on our composure under pressure, not panicking with the ball, especially with our backs to them. It’s more of a can we hold them up for another second, can we look to combine and go forward instead of backward, Jones said.”

Over the next weekend the Ichabods hit the road; Sept. 30 and Oct. 2 they face off against the University of Central Oklahoma and Northeastern State University respectively. While the University of Central Oklahoma shares the same record as Washburn, Northeastern State remains undefeated on the season.

“Two tough teams, they are hard to beat, but in our conference anything can happen,” said Jones.