Kennedy Hoffman, junior forward, challenges a Lindenwood player for possession of the ball. The Hornets won 3-2, improving their season record to 6-1-1

Emporia State soccer won their sixth game of the season against Fort Hays State University 3-2 last Sunday. This is one of the best starts to a soccer season at ESU, going 6-1-1, according to ESU athletics.

Bryan Sailer, head coach, said that despite frustrations, the Hornets came through.

“In the first half, we had a 10 minute span (that) we didn’t win too many balls,” Sailer said. “We’ve gotta be more active in front of the goal...I think we play well in sprints, it’s just kind of on-and-off a little bit, in the first half.”

The Hornets started off strong with Daniela Cardona, junior midfielder, making the only goal in the first half, leaving the score 1-0 ESU.

The second half was rougher, according to Sailer. “Of course, that bad spurt in the second half when they got the goals, we had some let downs,” Sailer said. “We need moments like this to see what we’re made of.”

At the start of the second half, the Tigers came around for two goals within a minute, making the score 1-2. However, the Hornets doubled down.

“We wanted to win it and we knew once they got two (points), we just had to bring it up a level and we knew we weren’t going to back down,” said Rachel Marshall, freshman midfielder.

With 27:37 left on the clock, the Hornets tied the game at 2-2 with Tanna Benefiel, junior midfielder, sending in a header.

Marshall sank in the last goal of the game, finalizing the score 3-2 with 15 minutes left in the game.

“We kept getting chance after chance, and I knew once that ball was dropped back, I knew I wanted that one,” Marshall said. “So, I was gonna do everything I could to get on the back of it once I saw it gone and then it was just defense mindset from there on out.”

For the remainder of the game, the Hornets held out for a win. Overall, Sailer said they’re a tough team.

“We had the lead, then we let it go and we got it back,” Sailer said. “It was a rollercoaster...We’ve come back before...We can score and when you know your team can score, you always have a chance to come back.“

The Hornets will play next against Missouri Western at tomorrow at 7 p.m.  in St. Joseph, Missouri. 

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