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Fourth-year Hesston College women’s soccer coach Bryan Kehr points to improved team speed and an infusion of freshmen talent as the Larks seek to improve upon last year’s six-win season.

Nine first-year players complement a sophomore class led by returning scorer Rachel Short-Miller (Bellingham, Wash.) to give the Larks an athletic roster seeking a second-consecutive Region VI playoff berth. An early task Kehr has is finding a replacement for Carley Wise, last year’s captain and all-Region defender.

“I’m excited about the work ethic this team has shown in practice,” Kehr said. “If we continue to improve technical skill, develop team unity and improve our team tactical understanding we will be successful this fall and may break a few team records in the process.”

One of 16 Division I programs in the rigorous NJCAA Region VI, Hesston women’s soccer always enjoys a competitive soccer environment and this year’s schedule is no different. The Larks open with a 5 p.m. home match versus Allen Community College Wednesday, Aug. 27.