Slow start hampers Hesston women in loss

Mark Schnabel
The Kansan
Hesston College goalkeeper Bethany Masters had eight saves in a 2-0 loss to Southeast Community College Wednesday in Jayhawk Conference play in Hesston.
Kara Longenecker of Hesston College and Lexi Schroeder of Southeast Community College go after a ball during play Wednesday.
Ayden Everett of Hesston College defends Zainel McGarrell of Southeast Community College during play Wednesday at  Sieber Field.
Hesston soccer player Sadie Svymbersky challenges Emma Suelter of Southeast Community College for a loose ball during play Wednesday in Hesston.
Hesston College soccer player Den Morita takes a kick during play against Southeast (Neb.) Community College.

HESSTON — A couple of bad breaks on the defensive end and no breaks on the attacking end led to a 2-0 loss for the Hesston College women’s soccer team against Southeast (Neb.) Community College Wednesday night at Sieber Field in Jayhawk Conference Division II play.

“We didn’t start with great intensity and gave up a goal,” Hesston coach Bryan Kerr said. “Then we gave up a handball and had to play with 10. It’s hard to play with 10. It was a disappointing loss, and I felt we were capable of playing better than that.”

The Larks are playing a shortened season. The entire Jayhawk Conference season was moved from the fall to the spring this school year. Then the Larks had their first three games canceled because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Two games were canceled when conference member Highland Community College had to canceled its season after three games.

“We’ve kind of had some tough breaks,” Kerr said. “We’ve been practicing all year long. We lost our first three games of the season to COVID, so experience-wise, we were already behind the eight-ball. Then Highland canceled their season, so we went from 10 games to eight games. It’s been frustrating. Luckily, the players have good attitudes. We went over 500 days between games from the fall of 2019 to April.”

Trinity Babcock scored a goal with an assist for the Storm, 2-6 overall and 2-3 in conference play.

Hesston was outshot 11-10, 10-9 on goal. Hailey DeWitt had nine saves for the shutout win. Bethany Masters had eight saves in goal for the Larks.

Hesston outshot Southeast 9-3 in the first half, but the Storm scored on two of those shots — an Alex Ebert breakaway in the fourth minute and a Trinity Babcock penalty kick in the 23rd minute. The second goal was set up by a handball call inside the Lark penalty area, which also led to a Hesston red card. The Larks were forced to play the final 67 minutes of the game with just 10 players on the field.

Neither team had a shot in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Southeast was able to generate some pressure in the final 10 minutes, but was unable to finish.

Hesston falls to 1-4 overall and in conference play. The Larks game scheduled for Sunday at Highland Community College has been canceled. Hesston plays Wednesday in Iola against Allen County Community College. Allen County is ranked 19th in the NJCAA Division II poll.

Southeast;2;0;—;2

Hesston;0;0;—;0

1. SE Alex Ebert (Trinity Babcock) 3:36

2. SE Babcock (penalty kick) 22:20 Total shots — SC 3-8—11, HC 9-1—10. Shots on goal — SC 3-7—10, HC 8-1—0. Saves — SC: Hailey DeWitt (W) 8-1—9. HC: Brittany Masters (L) 1-7—8. Corner kicks — SE 3, HC 2. Fouls — SE 14, HC 6. Offside — SE 5, HC 0. Cautions — SE: Lexi Schroeder (trip) 36:22. Ejection — HC: Den Morita (handball in penalty box) 22:17

Mark Schnabel can be reached at mschnabel@thekansan.com