Emporia State had a busy weekend of soccer, hosting Northwest Missouri University on Friday and Missouri Western University on Sunday.
The last time the Hornets faced Northwest Missouri was in the MIAA Tournament last season, in which the Bearcats won 4-2. This year, the Hornets were hoping to get some revenge, but they fell in the 80th minute on a long-range goal and lost 1-0.
For the Hornets, freshman defensive player Katie Wolfe, sophomore forward Tommi Bouknight, sophomore defensive player Shannon Thomas, and senior forward Mindi Lozenski all had shots on the goal in the game. Senior middle Mallory Walden led with three shots. Junior goalkeeper Melanie Nuessen started in the goal for the Hornets.
“We just need to work on putting the ball into the back of the net. Everything else is there; it is just the missing piece we need to bring it all together,” Wolfe, an elementary education major, said. “I have faith in this group of girls, and I really believe that if anyone could turn this season around, it’s us.”
Each team had equal opportunities, each taking 10 shots during the game. ESU had a 6-5 advantage in the first half, but NMU had a 5-4 advantage in the second and ultimately won.
“We haven’t had much luck this season,” said head coach Brian Sailer in an interview with the Media Relations after the game. “I felt like we had the game, and we ended up with nothing to show for it.”
On Saturday, the Hornets had the advantage against Missouri Western in almost every offensive category and outshot MWU 20-9.
For MWU, Abby Widrig scored in the 11th minute with a pass from Ashlyn Castillo from 80 yards out. The Hornets answered when junior forward Tommi Bouknight scored her first career goal for ESU in the 36th minute of the game.
ESU continued to press MWU in the second half. The Hornets had nine shots, while MWU only had four in the last half of the game, forcing overtime with a score of 1-1.
Overtime had just begun when MWU’s Widrig got the ball and shot from 40 yards away and secured the goal, leaving the Hornets with their second loss for the weekend.
“We really played our hearts out and were playing as a team, and, unfortunately, it just didn’t pay off,” Wolfe said. “There was nothing we could really do to stop that one goal – we just needed to capitalize on the times when the ball was in front of the net.”
Wolfe said her hopes for the rest of the season are to secure some wins in the last few games.
“My hopes are that we can make it to the tournament at the end of the year,” said Shannon Thomas, sophomore health promotions major and sophomore defensive player. “All we have to do is put two good halves of soccer together. I know we can do that in this final stretch of games, and I hope we can have that break out game that we need this weekend.”
The Hornets fell to 3-8-1 overall and are 0-6-1 in the MIAA. The team will host Lindenwood University on Friday. Kickoff is at 4 p.m.