Kansas State women’s soccer made program history last week.
For the first time, a match against a top-25 opponent did not result in a loss.
The Wildcats earned a 1-1 draw versus No. 9 West Virginia on Thursday. Then they turned around and played No. 23 Baylor to a scoreless draw on Sunday.
A key figure in both matches was sophomore goalkeeper Alaina Werremeyer. Those outside the program noticed, too: She was named the Big 12 goalkeeper of the week Tuesday, followed Wednesday by a spot on the TopDrawerSoccer National Team of the Week.
“It really is about the way the team worked,” Werremeyer said. “I think we went in confident, and we were not intimidated by the rankings. We just played our game and executed our game plan. The team is performing really well. Against two top-25 teams, that was a huge weekend for us.”
Werremeyer recorded nine saves against West Virginia and a career-high 13 saves versus Baylor. K-State now holds a 6-6-2 overall record and a 1-2-2 mark in Big 12 play.
Goalkeeper coach David Romay said he was impressed with Werremeyer’s efforts against the ranked conference foes.
“She is doing very well,” Romay said “I think (she’s) coming into it. I mentioned at the beginning of the year we had two goalkeepers we knew could perform at this level. So as impressed as I am, I am not surprised.”
Along with Werremeyer, the Wildcats have sophomore Peyton Pearson and redshirt junior Rachel Harris, who is sidelined with an injury.
Romay said it is “incredibly impressive” to record 13 saves against a top-25 squad like Baylor.
“That is a big-time (performance),” Romay said. “That is a school record for her and the program. I think the fact that it is a school record, it speaks volumes for how impressive and difficult that really is.”
After playing in nine matches last season, Werremeyer entered this season with some experience. She’s only continued to improve under Romay’s guidance.
“She has really been able to take what we do in training and take her prior experiences of who she is,” said Romay, a first-year assistant for the Wildcats. “The skills she possesses in her toolbox, this year she has put it all together. We are seeing the fruit of that. She is using everything that she has in her back pocket and everything she has worked for. It is really awesome to be able to be a part of that and have it all come together.”
K-State now goes on the road for two games this week: at Oklahoma State (7 p.m. Thursday) and at Oklahoma (1 p.m. Sunday).
K-State head coach Mike Dibbini said Werremeyer’s recent performances not only boost her own self-esteem, but extend to the rest of the tem, too.
“It gives us confidence moving forward that our team defending, and goalkeeping, is coming together at the right time,” Dibbini said. “Who would have thought we would have had (any success) last weekend based on the history of our program? I think the team believes and is relaxed and confident at the same time. ”