Kansas State soccer had been on the verge of winning matches the entire season.
The Wildcats finally got over the hump Friday.
K-State scored three times and had a stout performance defensively, shutting out Oklahoma in a 3-0 win at Buser Family Park.
“We are finally figuring out how to play together,” K-State head coach Mike Dibbini said. “We are figuring out our rotations defensively. They bought in this week. We returned to just loving the game this week. We returned to loving the ball and playing loose, and having that mentality all week. It was a great week of practice. It is a great feeling.”
It took just over two minutes of game time for K-State to get on the board.
Shae Turner got a header from left of the goal post from 2 yards out. Scoring goals has been a struggle for the Wildcats (1-4-0) this season; Dibbini said that after the opening goal, the sideline was in shock because it put the team in an unfamiliar position — owning a lead— so early in a match.
“I was on the goal line, and it was a phenomenally played ball,” Turner said. “It just kind of hit my head and I directed it the right way and it ended up in the back of the net.”
After one goal was taken away from Kyler Goins, she made good later in the first half, hauling in a pass from Maddie Weichel. Goins, receiving the ball in the open field just in front of midfield, dribbled and then skipped the ball past Oklahoma goalkeeper Nikki Panas to give K-State a 2-0 lead with 21:31 remaining.
“After my first goal got taken away, I was nervous I wasn’t going to get a goal,” Goins said. “And then I get (a chance) again. It is big for me, because I (transferred) from Arkansas, where I wasn’t playing at all. And now I am starting and got my first goal.”
Brookelyn Entz capped the victory with flair, punching in a penalty kick at the 65-minute mark. To Entz, it was a simple kick. So routine she didn’t feel she needed to celebrate. But its significance wasn’t lost on other members of the program.
“Brookelyn does a lot for us — she is our leader,” Dibbini said. “She is our backbone. She is our quarterback, offensively especially. For her to take her time and basically kill the game with that goal was amazing. Her penalty kick was just pure composure.”
While the goals grab the headlines, K-State’s also played well defensively. The Wildcats held the Sooners (0-3-1) to just one shot on goal in the first half, and just four for the entire game.
Freshman goalkeeper Alaina Werremeyer recorded four saves.
Friday’s win was what the Wildcats had been looking for to turn around their season. The victory had the team feeling a way it hasn’t felt before.
“It is undescribable right now,” Dibbini said. “We are a new program. We are young, and I understand that. But this is a big, big win for us. And I hope that we can continue to move forward in the right direction.”