SE: Reunited — Kalkofen, Egan Bring Immediate Chemistry to K-State Soccer

There’s a certain level of communication that can’t be taught in soccer. It must be developed over years. 

It’s a certain look from one player directing the other. It’s knowing what the other is going to do on the field in countless situations. Sometimes, it’s simply being there for one another, in the good times and the bad.  

K-State’s Morgan Egan and Megan Kalkofen possess this type of bond. It’s what brought them together at K-State after playing one year at separate Division I schools, and it’s what has made them a key pair of defenders for the Wildcats. 

“We have great communication,” Kalkofen said. “We know our strengths, we know our weaknesses. We know when to cover and when not to, and we believe in each other too, which is very important.” 

The two sophomores played together from elementary school all the way through high school, doing so, however, in the Eclipse Select Soccer Club — a year-round program for elite players in the Chicago area. Twice their Eclipse team finished as national runners-up, once at the 2011 U.S. Youth Soccer Nationals and again in 2014 at the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) Nationals.

Overall, the two Wildcats said club soccer provided a highly competitive atmosphere, top-of-the-line training and a test of their true love for soccer. It also allowed friendships and memories to be formed with an abundance of future Division I players. 

Kalkofen’s top memories from Eclipse include driving to practice and singing in the car with Egan, who brought up something slightly different. 

“We played a game called transition,” Egan said. “It was very competitive and sometimes Megan and I wanted to cut each other’s heads off, but in the end we keep it all on the field and we love each other.” 

That love was felt when Egan came back from two separate ACL injuries. It continued well after the two committed to different colleges — Kalkofen to Wisconsin and Egan to Pittsburgh. 

“We definitely talked when we had struggles and when we had good times,” Kalkofen said. “We talked a lot, but it was really when I decided I wanted to transfer, that’s when she definitely stepped up and said that (K-State) would be a great program for me to become a part of. She encouraged me to look at this school and meet the coaches, see the program, and I fell in love with it.”

Egan, who transferred to K-State without ever stepping foot on campus, knew her former teammate would fit in well. Why? 

“Because I knew I was going to love it here already and then when she came on her visit, I pretty much helped her seal the deal,” said Egan.  

The familiarity with one another has helped each transition to a new team in its first year. 

“It was definitely a sense of home,” Kalkofen said. “She is always there whenever I need something or just little things when you’re feeling down or miss somebody at home, she’s a familiar face.” 

“It is surreal,” Egan said of playing together again. “It’s kind of funny. I never really expected for us to be back together again because Megan had been committed to Wisconsin for a long time and I was more of a later commit. Obviously no one expects to transfer when they commit, but I’m really glad we’re back here together.” 

K-State head coach Mike Dibbini is glad as well. Kalkofen and Egan have started all six games for K-State (2-2-2) in its inaugural season, helping stabilize the Wildcats’ defense with their experience and chemistry. 

“I think the relationship that they have on the field right now stems from them playing together in the past quite a bit,” said Dibbini, whose team finishes an eight-game road stretch Friday at Central Arkansas and Sunday at Little Rock. “Those partnerships that you form on the field, the comfort and the chemistry is huge, and you can definitely see that they communicate very, very well. They stay organized and the learning curve’s a lot easier for us when you have players that have played together.

“When you’re starting a program from scratch, having some immediate chemistry helps. They’re organized, and not only organized, but it gives us confidence that we have players back there that have experience as well.”