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The Antelope

The Antelope

Loper soccer still winless, gets on the scoreboard

Kea Barnes scored the Lopers first goal against Washburn on Sunday. Photo provided by Shelby Berglund / Antelope Staff

The UNK women’s soccer team faced the Fort Hays State Tigers on Friday, September 9th in Ron & Carol Cope Stadium. The Tigers beat the Lopers by a final score of 1-0. 

The wind was against the Lopers in the first half. That did not stop goalie, Mackenzie Smith, from finishing the match with six saves. 

“The first half they had the wind at their back,” said UNK soccer coach Rob Breton. “That made it much easier for them to create attacking opportunities.” 

Forward Montserrat Diaz scored the only goal made by the Tigers. She was able to slide it by Smith with 14:49 left in the first half after it was miskicked by a UNK defender. 

“The player tried to make as much contact as possible rather than making simple contact,” Breton said. “They tried to put their foot through the call rather than contact. Because of that, it slips, the team isn’t ready because we’re all reacting to the clearance.” 

The Lopers were anything but shy when it came to aggression as they ended the match with eight total fouls. Midfielder Cammie Davis contributed with one foul and one shot attempt in the first half. Defender Isabella Whiston took a shot attempt at the end of the second period, but it was saved by Tiger goalie Isabel Robben.

The Lopers took the advantage of the wind in the second half to hold the Tigers at one goal for the remainder of the match. The Tigers were able to play defense to hold onto their 1-0 lead. 

“You got to give Fort Hays great credit,” Breton said. “Realistically, in the whole first half, they had three good shots on goals and one of them was a goal so you have to give them credit. One out of three is quality.”

The Lopers traveled to Topeka, Kansas to take on the Washburn Ichabods on Sept. 11. UNK ended the match losing by a final score of 2-1.

The bright spot of the weekend came when midfielder Kea Barnes scored a goal on a free kick in the second half. It was UNK’s first goal of the year.

The Lopers are led in shots by forward Emma Middleton with 10. Davis is second on the team with six total shots. Smith has also posted 40 saves on the season. 

The team returns home to host Emporia State on Sept. 16 at 7:30 p.m. The Lopers will also have a rematch with Washburn once again at home on Sept. 18 at 1 p.m.

Breton still sees a lot of potential in the team going forward.

“The girls will get better, they’ll understand more and more how they can trust themselves to go forward,” Breton said. “They just need to get to that point of belief and commitment consistently. If we do that for 90 minutes consistently every single game, there will be teams that will be shocked when we play them.”

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