The Kansas State soccer defense impressed head coach Mike Dibbini during the Wildcats’ road trip to Southern California, but still lost to Cal State Fullerton, 2-0, in Fullerton, Calif., on Sunday.
“I felt like the defense executed the plan,” Dibbini said in a release. “They did a good job defending and locking down areas and looking for those opportunities to counter. Unfortunately, the ball didn’t bounce our way tonight, and now we just need to regroup.”
Even though Cal State Fullerton had a 8-3 advantage in shots in the first half, it remained scoreless because of the K-State defense.
Kansas State (1-3-2) had an opportunity to score and take a lead in the 14th minute when junior Brookelynn Entz took a shot from the right side of the field, but Fullerton goalkeeper Noa Schumacher made the save.
Senior Katie Cramer got a ball from sophomore Emily Crain not long after Schumacher’s save. She took a shot herself, but the ball hit Schumaker in the face.
The training staff tended to Schumaker on the field, but she stayed in the match.
Fullerton (4-2-0) eventually broke through the Kansas State defense in the 75th minute, when Kayla Hawkinson had a corner kick that found Maddie Bennett for a goal.
The Titans got a second goal nine minutes later to seal the Wildcats’ fate. Kansas State cleared a cross that found Fullerton’s Emilia Owen. Owen put it in the left side of the net.
Fullerton dominated the shot advantage, ending the match with a 19-6 edge. Dibbini still was happy with the two games Kansas State played in California, following a 0-0 draw with Cal State Northridge on Friday.
“It is great preparation going into the Big 12 playing two teams that are quality, and it puts us under a little bit of pressure and having to play through,” Dibbini said. “I thought we did a nice job all weekend. It was unfortunate in the second game. We got a tough break on their first goal. It is tough when you are playing that well and you get a tough break. Hopefully, we can learn from this and move on.”
Kansas State’s next test is back at Buser Family Park on Thursday, starting five games at home. The Wildcats have Gonzaga at 7 p.m. Thursday and Tulsa at 1 p.m. Sunday.