In a manner of speaking, the Bethel College women’s soccer team can claim a moral victory in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Hesston College in a pre-season friendly at Goering Field.
In last year’s Old 81 Derby, Bethel lost 4-0 in a game cut short at the half because the Threshers didn’t have enough players to continue.
This year, Bethel had a full squad on the field and a pair of subs on the bench.
“I thought the girls responded well,” Bethel coach Alex Hagen said. “We played much better than we did the other day. I expected that. This is our second time playing together. I was really impressed. Our defense played really well. Because we played well defensively, we were able to create chances up top. We were a little bit tired.”
“It was a good scrimmage for us. It was a challenge for us,” Hesston coach Bryan Kehr said. “They have a couple of four-year players and they are a lot better than they were last year. We had some chances. We needed to finish better.”
Hesston finished the pre-season 1-0-1 after a 1-0 win over Central Christian Monday.
“We have eight days under our belts and have a lot of things to work on,” Kehr said. “It’s a great group and we’re working hard.”
In the first half, Bethel would control play for about five minutes or so, then Hesston would control play for about the same amount of time.
Shots were even at three each in the first half.
Bethel missed a breakaway chance early in the second half. A Hesston chance in the 62nd minute was called back for being offside.
Miho Okuda put in a cross from Miya Gonda in the 67th minute. Two minutes later, Bethel answered when Alayna Wallace finished a Jadin Kaltenbach direct kick.
Each team missed chances to finish in the closing minutes.
Kyle Williams finished the game with seven saves. Miranda Dolesman had three saves for Hesston, while Vivi Rodriguez has two.
Bethel finishes 0-1-1 in pre-season play.
Hesston has a busy opening weekend, playing Friday on the road against the Ottawa junior varsity, followed by Southwestern Adventist Sunday at home.
“We’re going to play our way into shape,” Kehr said. “We have to compete every time out. We hosted a home playoff a game last year and we want to keep moving forward and keep getting better. We have a lot of desire. We just have to come together.”
Bethel plays Saturday at Saint Gregory’s, a semifinalist in the Sooner Athletic Conference post-season tournament last year. The Cavaliers beat Bethel 2-0 last year.
“I haven’t had a chance to see them,” Hagen said. “This year, we have a better team. We have each other’s back. There’s a better atmosphere and energy this year. We are going to keep getting better as we get used to play with each other and with our playing style.”
1. H Miho Okuda (Miya Gonda) 66:53
2. B Alayna Wallace (Jadin Kaltenbach) 68:51
Total shots — HC 3-5—8, BC 3-4—7. Shots on goal — HC 3-5—8, BC 3-3—6. Saves — HC: Miranda Dolesman (45:00, 0 ga) 3-x—3; Vivi Rodriguez (T, 45:00, 1 ga) x-2—2. BC: Kyla Williams (T) 3-4—7. Corner kicks — HC 2, BC 3. Fouls — HC 3, BC 5. Offsides — HC 2, BC 2. Cautions — none.