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Photo trip, pt. 1: K-State soccer wins home opener

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Fans, facility make for great soccer environment.

Kansas State midfielder Brookelynn Entz (8) dribbles upfield while forward Tatum Wagner (44) looks on during K-State’s 2-0 victory over Omaha on August 30, 2017.
MANHATTAN, KANSAS - Kansas State midfielder Brookelynn Entz (8) dribbles upfield while forward Tatum Wagner (44) looks on during K-State's 2-0 victory over Omaha on August 30, 2017.
Adam Stewart/Special to Bring on the Cats

I spent this week on vacation, including a couple of days in Manhattan specifically to get photos of the K-State soccer and volleyball teams in action Wednesday and Thursday.

This post is focused on the soccer match, but be sure to check out part 2 for photos and thoughts from K-State’s first match of the volleyball Wildcat Invitational.

Wednesday was my first time attending a K-State soccer match in person, and maybe my first time attending any soccer match in person. The soccer complex, just north of baseball’s Tointon Family Stadium, was a great environment for it. There aren’t a lot of bleachers, but there are plenty of well-maintained grassy sections where you can sit with a blanket or maybe a lawn chair to watch. The stadium lights are plenty good for watching a match after sunset, although it was dark enough I couldn’t get good photos in the second half.

As for the fans, I was pleasantly surprised by the turnout. I know it was the home opener, but it also was a Wednesday night game against a mid-major opponent in a non-revenue sport, so I didn’t know what to expect. The bleachers — reserved for season ticket holders — were fairly full, while the student section was essentially full in the first half.

And the student section was especially enthusiastic all game, frequently chanting or singing, accompanied by a single bass drum. Compared to football and basketball student sections, though, the students’ chants and songs used minimal profanity, to the point I would have little concern sitting near the student section with my young nieces and nephew.

I’m not at all qualified to analyze the quality of the soccer I saw, but a 2-0 win has to be good, right? To my untrained eyes, the Wildcats clearly controlled the first half, with massive advantages in ball control and shots. The second half was a lot closer in terms of control, but K-State still got an insurance goal and kept the Mavericks off the board.