Sister schools Hesston College and Bethel College both made a strong defensive showing in a pre-season men’s soccer friendly Wednesday at Joe W. Goering Field.
Chris Torres finished on a pass from David Fuentes in the 55th minute to hand the Threshers the 1-0 win.
Bethel keeper Kobi Russom had five saves in goal to keep the clean sheet, including a pair of tough saves in the final seconds of play.
“They were doing well against us,” Russom said. “Our coaches have been telling us to pretty much just shut them down and focus on hunting the ball. We did that pretty well. I really feel like freshman (defender) Andy Goodman was phenomenal.”
Russom said the transition to a new coach has been smooth.
“I’ve been here for three years, so it’s just been keep on keeping on,” Russom said. “He’s here to stay, so that’s good. We’re in a good position and I’m excited for the season.”
“I think the boys worked really hard tonight,” Bethel coach James Cottage said. “They got a good idea what we have to do. We have to be defensively strong and we have to be attacking. I’m proud of what the guys have done during the pre-season and looking forward to what they can do in the regular season. We started a couple of weeks ago. We started with some fitness work and then two-a-days. I had a lot of meetings with the players. It’s been a long quick road. I wouldn’t say it’s been hard. There have been challenges, but everyone at the college has been supportive and helping me out. It hasn’t been a difficult transition.”
“It was good,” Hesston coach Matt Gerlach said. “It’s always good to play at Bethel. We’re both so close. We have a few things to work on. We made some adjustments in the second half and looked good. If we’d have finished one, instead of giving up a counter attack, we’d be much happier.”
Hesston went to Nebraska for training that included a friendly against Nebraska Wesleyan, as well working at a camp.
“We’ve done some training, we’ve done some service and we worked at a camp,” Gerlach said. “That really helped with our team coming together.”
The Larks join the Jayhawk Conference this season.
“Nothing changes really,” Gerlach said. “Now we’re in the conference and the region. It will give the kids more recognition. We’re a part of a really great competitive league.”
Total shots were even at seven each, but Hesston outshot Bethel 6-4 in the second half. Bryson White had four saves in goal for Hesston. Daniel Ganzola had two saves.
Hesston opens the regular season at 8 p.m. Friday in McPherson against the Central College junior varsity.
Bethel hosts Mid-America Christian at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The Evangels competed in the National Christian College Athletic Association nationals last year.
“I know Mid-America pretty well,” said Cottage, who coached at nearby Southwestern Christian. “They will bring it. I just have to get the boys ready.”
1. B Chris Torres (David Fuentes) 54:33
Total shots — BC 3-4—7, HC 1-6—7. Shots on goal — BC 3-4—7, HC 1-4—5. Saves — BC: Kobi Russom (W) 1-4—5, HC: Bryson White (L, 75:31, 1 ga) 3-1—4; Daniel Ganzola (24:29, 0 ga) x-2—2. Corner kicks — BC 7, HC 5. Fouls — BC 11, HC 6. Offside — BC 3, HC 0. Cautions — BC: Bryant Soriano 50:34. HC: Ian Ellis 5:40, Teo Solar 20:58.