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Weekly KSU soccer update: Late-season malaise

A scoring drought led the Wildcats to a three-game losing streak with just one left to play.

Coach Mike Dibbini
Nope, we don’t have a new picture yet.
Scott Weaver/Kansas State Athletics

Kansas State’s soccer season has taken a turn for the worse with a three-game losing streak leading into Thursday’s season finale at Illinois State. But before you get too concerned about a young team trending in the wrong direction, consider the impact of a tougher schedule both in terms of opponents and timing.

We already covered the loss in Des Moines more than two weeks ago, and then K-State traveled to Austin on Friday, Oct. 7, for arguably the toughest match of the year. Yes, the Longhorns are still winless in the Big 12, but they’re a decent side with no bad losses.

Unsurprisingly, the Wildcats learned it will take a lot more athleticism and skill to compete in the conference next season. A goal in the first minute set the tone, and the Longhorns added another early in the second half off a K-State mishit that resulted in an own goal.

The ‘Cats were perhaps fortunate to keep alive their streak of never losing by less than two goals, considering they were outshot 19-3. The crossbar denied Texas twice and goalkeeper Paige Brown needed to make only one save.

Things got a little easier in a rare Monday night game at Missouri State yesterday, but unfortunately, the result didn’t change. The Bears, who lost just 1-0 at Texas Tech earlier this year, handed K-State another 2-0 defeat.

The ‘Cats threatened to score their first goal in three games with 10 shots, not including a second-half goal that didn’t count because Tatum Wagner’s cross went over the endline. Missouri State finished with 19 shots and scored once just before halftime, then again in the 56th minute on a great goal from 22 yards out set up by a short goal kick.

Kansas State’s 4-8-3 record includes three losses in three matches vs. the MVC, which could be a bad sign for Thursday’s road trip to conference leader Illinois State. Then again, a win over the Redbirds would be a remarkable way to finish this inaugural season. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. and will be available on ESPN3.