After a short training session for each team, the women’s soccer teams of sister colleges Hesston and Bethel met Wednesday night at Joe W. Goering Field in North Newton for a pre-season friendly.
Bethel scored early and late to claim the 2-0 win.
The game was slated to be played at the HC Field, but heavy rains prompted the move to play on turf at Bethel. Because both benches were a little short, the game was shortened to 70 minutes.
“There’s some good things and there’s a lot we still need to work on,” Bethel coach Alex Hagen said. “Defensively, we played really well. We need to connect our midfield to our forwards a little bit better. That’s something we’ll work on this week. We will be getting a few kids back this weekend. Those players will help us going forward. The girls played hard. We got some fitness in, playing with lower numbers tonight. We’ve been together 10 days now. We have a pretty new team. We have nine new players. We have some sitting out for the season because of injuries.”
Hesston entered the game with just a handful of returning players and a week of practice.
“We’ve been together seven days, and we’re getting better,” Hesston coach Bryan Kehr said. “They are working hard, but we have some things to learn. We had a scrimmage on Monday and we looked a lot better tonight. We’re improving, but we didn’t bring back a lot of experience. We graduated quite a few.”
The Larks have joined the Jayhawk Conference this season and will be competing in the Western Division.
“Our schedule doesn’t really change,” Kehr said. “The last two years, we’ve been playing all of the West Jayhawk schools to make the playoffs. It makes our players eligible for post-season awards. … We play each teams twice, home-and-home. That’s going to mean a little more travel. It will be a challenge.”
Bethel scored in the sixth minute when a Bekah Tonn corner kick was mishandled by the Hesston keeper and put in by Vivian Gonzalez.
Araeleigha Heysquierdo-Marcy put in a rebound for Bethel in the 67th minute.
Bethel outshot Hesston 14-1. Ashton Brown had the sole save for the Threshers. Caitlin Cordes also played a half. Viv Rodriguez had nine saves in goal for the Larks. Miranda Dolsman spent just 22 seconds in goal after Rodriguez was carded for a stopping a Thresher breakaway, but had two saves.
Hesston opens the regular season Wednesday at home against Allen County Community College.
“We play Wednesday, Friday and Sunday,” Kehr said. “It’s the only week where we play three games. There is a team from Iowa (Northern Iowa Community College) that was coming down to play Hutchinson and wanted an extra game. They might be a real talented team. This is probably the most difficult schedule we have. We only play one junior varsity, and that’s against Oklahoma Wesleyan. They are very good.”
Bethel hosts Mid-America Christian at 5 p.m. Saturday to open the regular season. The Evangels played in the National Christian College Athletic Association nationals last year.
“Mid-America is a very good team,” Hagen said. “Their coach has been there 14 years. They are an established program. I think our girls can come out, be competitive and get the win. It will depend on their recovery from this and if we can get a couple of girls back.”
1. B Vivian Gonzalez (unassisted) 5:14
2. B Araeleigha Heysquierdo-Marcy (unassisted) 66:26
Total shots — BC 7-7—14, HC 1-0—1. Shots on goal — BC 6-7—13, HC 1-0—1. Saves — BC: Ashton Brown (W, 35:00) 1-x—1; Caitlin Cordes (35:00) x-0—0, HC: Viv Rodriguez (L, 69:38, 2 ga) 5-4—9; Miranda Dolsman (:22, 0 ga) -x-2—2. Corner kicks — BC 7, HC 1. Fouls — BC 3, HC 3. Offside — BC 6, HC 0. Cautions — HC: Rodriguez 46:33.