Roller coaster season ends on senior Sunday


Players from the women’s soccer team lineup during pre-game introductions. The Lopers hosted Emporia State on Sunday, the finale of their 18-game regular season. With the 3-0 loss, UNK missed out on the playoffs by one point.

By Brandon Rojas

The sun was out, and no clouds were in sight, it was the perfect conditions for a senior day send-off. Emporia State (13-4-1), however, had other plans. UNK (5-12-1) took on the Hornets one other time this season, ending in a 0-1 loss. Going 0-6-1 in their previous seven games, the Lopers were looking to end the season on a high note. With a win, the Lopers would advance to the MIAA Championships, with seven other teams in the conference.

Many opportunities came for the Hornets early in the first half. The first came off a set piece opportunity, a free-kick coming in Loper territory. Crossed in front of the goal, the ball ricocheted off multiple players and came to rest in front of junior Kennedy Hoffman, who slotted a shot past goalkeeper Ali Hirschman to put the Hornets up 1-0.

Making sure to ride the momentum, Emporia State pushed down the field this time attacking from the wing. Hoffman found freshman Gaby Crowell to make the lead 2-0 over the Lopers entering half-time.

Going into the second half without a shot taken, UNK pushed more players up front to increase the attack. In the 50th minute senior Tori Weber, attempted a free-kick that hit off the far post, which ended up being the Loper’s best shot on goal.

With many of the Lopers playing forward, Emporia State made sure to find a way behind the defense. Senior Jacki Martinek, hit the top shelf, with about eight minutes left to solidify the 3-0 victory for the Hornets. The Hornets will now face Northeastern State in the first round of the playoffs.