K-State Drops Tough Match at Central Arkansas






Hall: 6 shots, 1 on goal
Mauck: 6 shot, 1 on goal
Larkin: 7 SVs

Smith: 1 G
Ricks: 1 A
Hughes: 1 SV

K-State 0 0 0
Central Arkansas
1 0 1

CONWAY, Arkansas - Kansas State women’s soccer proved to be the aggressors for much of the night at Central Arkansas, but the Wildcats were unable to tally a goal on Friday, as the Bears secured the 1-0 win at Stephens Soccer Complex.

K-State is now 2-3-2 in their inaugural season, while Central Arkansas improved to 5-2-0 and extended their win streak to four. All seven of K-State’s matches have been played away from Manhattan.

“We gave up an early goal and we chased the game,” said head coach Mike Dibbini about the defeat. “I felt we dominated the whole second half and had clear chances but it is the game of soccer. That is why we play the game. It is unfortunate. If we had a crossbar challenge tonight, we would have won by four or five. We just couldn’t buy a goal tonight. It was one of those games that whatever we did offensively, which we did, we just couldn’t figure out that last touch of the ball to put it away.”

Central Arkansas captured the early 1-0 lead in the 22nd minute. After playing a quick corner from the left side of the K-State net, the Bears’ Kristen Ricks sent a cross into the penalty area which found the head of Ashley Smith. Smith deflected the ball past Kansas State goalkeeper Miranda Larkin and into the back of the net.

K-State almost evened the match on two occasions in the first half. A service from sophomore defender Megan Kalkofen from 30 yards in the 31st minute bounced around in the Central Arkansas goal area and freshman forward/midfielder Laramie Hall sent a shot into the back of the Bears’ net, but the Wildcats were whistled for a foul just as the ball reached Hall’s foot.

The Wildcats’ second opportunity came in the 44th minute, as redshirt freshman Krista Haddock was served into space behind the Central Arkansas defense. Haddock’s one on one chance with Central Arkansas goalie Anna Hughes went just wide of the left post.

To open the second half in the 50th minute, K-State had another opportunity to equal the match but Central Arkansas prevented the chance. Sophomore Tatum Wagner was sent in on a breakaway and was one on one with Bears’ second half keeper Lauren Mercuri. Wagner ripped a right footed shot from 20 yards out, but Mercuri had come off her line to challenge and deflected the shot away with her left hand.

Wagner again threatened the net in the 70th minute. The product of Tulsa, Oklahoma, sent a looping shot from 30 yards left of the net. The ball arced high and Mercuri was forced to punch at the ball and knocked it into the upper right angle of the far post.

Later, junior forward Abby Sieperda rang the crossbar above Mercuri’s head from distance and the ball deflected straight down off the bar and bounced into Mercuri’s arms.

Kansas State finished the night with a season-high 22 shots, led by Hall and sophomore midfielder Morgan Mauck with six each. Central Arkansas recorded 15 shots with eight on goal. K-State’s Larkin finished with a career-high seven saves including five in the second half.

Kansas State will conclude its season-opening eight-match road trip on Sunday at 1 p.m., as the Wildcats visit Little Rock. The match will be available by subscription at Little Rock All-Access at www.lrtrojans.com. A live audio broadcast will also be available on 101.5 KROCK in Manhattan and for free at www.kstatesports.com.