The fall sports season opened with an unexpected result Friday night. The Wildcats stunned the A10 favorite, Saint Louis Billikens, one-nil behind a Morgan Mauck’s 82 minute goal. It was an extremely even match until that point, with the Billikens out-shooting the Wildcats on the night. Kansas State put more shots on goal (7-4) and that paid off in the end. While the Cats snagged the victory, the start of the match was far from ideal.
Getting her first start in goal, Sophomore Emma Malsy was in for a busy first half. In the first 10 minutes of action, Malsy faced five shots, and would go on to face 11 total on the night. Malsy continued to do yoeman’s work the rest of the half saving two more shots on goal. Saint Louis narrowly missed an opportunity to put one in the net as a shot by junior forward Alyssa Seitzer hit the post in the 15th minute. Substitutions by coach Mike Dibbini in the 26th minute seemed to help stabilize the Wildcat defense, as starters Hannah Davis, Tatum Wagner, and Brookelyn Entz headed to the bench for a rest. Those start players would sit for the rest of the half, as the teams traded shots before finishing the period in a 0-0 tie.
The second half saw the Wildcats come out much more aggressively, as they pushed the tempo, and controlled the ball with passing through the mid field. The pressure on the Saint Louis defense further increased when Davis, Wagner, and Entz re-entered the game in the 60th minute. Their veteran leadership allowed the Wildcats to control the ball, particularly Entz who on numerous occasion showed spectacular footwork to keep the possession. Entz played very aggressively in the period, with the announcers calling her name seemingly every 20 seconds. Both Davis and Wagner pressured the Billikens back line with Wagner leading a break in the 79th minute which forced Saint Louis to concede only their second corner of the night. Davis took the corner, which was defended out by Saint Louis for another corner, and this time the Wildcats didn’t miss their chance. Davis drove in the corner-kick and freshman Avery Green delivered a header to Junior Morgan Mauck who smashed it home for the goal. The remaining time saw the Billikens push forward to find an equalizer but their attempts came up wanting as the Wildcats held on to open their season with a victory.
Player of the Game
Junior Midfielder Morgan Mauck. Mauck had two shots including the game winner, and likely would have had another shot had the ref not blown a play dead prematurely following a loose ball scrum with the Billikens goalie.
Notes and Stats
- While the Billikens out-shot the Wildcats in the game, Kansas State held Saint Louis to zero shots on goal in the second half.
- Emma Malsy pitched a shut out in her first career start in goal for the Wildcats.
- This is the first season opening win in Kansas State soccer history.