K-State soccer defeated Omaha 1-0 on Sunday for its first win of the season.
After a disappointing home loss to begin the 2021 campaign Thursday, Kansas State needed to come out strong against the Mavericks to avoid falling to 0-2.
In Thursday’s loss, the Wildcats (1-1-0) missed early opportunities for a goal; it cost them.
K-State converted its chances Sunday, though.
Six minutes and six seconds into the first half, a corner kick turned into a chip-in goal for Marrisa Weichel from deep inside the goal box and gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead.
As the ball sailed into the pack of players in the goal box, two players kicked it before Weichel directed it into the net.
“It was a great ball played in,” Weichel said. “Everyone was trying to get a piece of it. I think the goalie got a piece of it and I just ran and went through the ball and (I) got a goal.
“We need it after our last game. We needed this win. We are all working hard, and we really wanted the win.”
Getting the early goal was a sigh of relief for the team.
Head coach Mike Dibbini also pointed out the score boosted the Wildcats’ energy.
“I think confidence is a key for our team,” Dibbini said. “When we score first, it gives us momentum. And it gives us confidence.”
After Alaina Werremeyer started at goalkeeper versus Weber State, Dibbini said Peyton Pearson practiced well, which earned her the start. Pearson excelled Sunday. She recorded three saves, and, along with K-State’s stellar defense, blanked the opponent, holding the Mavericks to seven shots, including just three on goal.
“Our defense is stacked,” Weichel said. “We have people who can come in off the bench and play defense. A back line that is solid. (Pearson) today did phenomenal. (Omaha) just did not have a chance.”
Pearson said she felt fulfilled to have her hard work pay off to earn her a start.
“I think I did really good,” Pearson said. “I did not get tested too much. We have been really keen on playing out of the back. Our whole defense, playing out of the back, was really good.”
Pearson added that she feels like there is constant competition between her and Werremeyer to be the starter at goalkeeper. (The third player vying for the spot, Rachel Harris, is injured.)
K-State was aggressive offensively, with 25 shots and six on goal, led by senior leader Brookelynn Entz (six shots and one on goal), with a few opportunities near the end of the match that could’ve extended the lead.
“It was a really good win for us,” Dibbini said. “We need (the win), obviously, after a tough, tough loss on Thursday night. We showed good character, and we responded well. We scored a goal in the match and we could have (even) had a few more.”
The Wildcats will next play on the road at Austin Peay at 7 p.m. Friday.