Women’s Soccer News Archive 2015-2016

Hesston Women’s Soccer concludes memorable season

The Hesston College women’s soccer team dropped a 4-1 match to nationally-ranked and top-seeded Region VI power Butler CC (El Dorado) on Saturday, Nov. 1, ending the Larks magical 2015 season.

2015 was indeed a year to remember for Lark soccer fans, as several team and individual records fell during Hesston’s 15-6 season.

“As a team we made great improvement this year,” said Hesston Coach Bryan Kehr. “We fielded a very competitive product and our positive team chemistry was outstanding.”

Freshman midfielder Mika Matsuda (Kyoto, Japan) was named to the NJCAA all-Region VI First Team after smashing Hesston’s all-time assist mark. Matsuda more than doubled the previous career assist mark in just one year.

Goalkeeper Jaymee Bowers (Goshen, Ind.), Hesston’s new all-time leader in shutouts (eight), was a second-team all-region selection, as was career scoring leader (68 points: 28 goals/12 assists) Mikaela Zook (Millersburg, Ind.). Zook’s 28 career goals is tops in HC women’s soccer history.

The 15 team wins represents a program best, and the 81 goals scored smashes the previous mark of 34 (2012 team) and could stand for years to come.

“We have great soccer players returning, and it’s our goal as a coaching staff to continue building a program that players want to be a part of,” continued Kehr. “We’ll recruit players that will be a great match for Hesston College and help us continue the success we had this year.”

Leadership and passion drive Hesston College Women’s Soccer

Talent, leadership, sacrifice, team chemistry, coaching, timing: all these and more factor in to successful intercollegiate athletics campaigns. Watching the 2015 Hesston College women’s soccer season unfold, it’s clear the Larks possess many of these coveted traits.

The last few months have witnessed a record-breaking season filled with numerous individual feats. Having already established new marks for single-season wins and shutouts, the Larks are shattering major individual records left and right as the year moves into the home stretch. Long after this season concludes, Hesston fans will remember the 2015 Hesston College women’s soccer team.

Digging a little deeper reveals several instances of, for the betterment of the team, players becoming something they were not. A defender making a move to the offensive side of the field here, a field player making the transition to keeper there, and the net effect is a team whose players have been willing to lose their previous soccer identity in order to gain what any competitive team wants most: a successful season.

Reviewing results from a preseason Myers Briggs personality test he’d given his players, Hesston head coach Bryan Kehr was taken aback at what seemed to be a roster imbedded with an inordinate amount of raw leadership skills. Kehr was excited. Perhaps the Larks were in for a special season, he thought.

A special season, indeed.

The momentum started with a 2-0 blanking of Region VI foe Cowley College on Aug. 22. Three matches in and the Larks were 3-0. As the season reached its midpoint, several team and individual marks had fallen.

Freshman midfielder Mika Matsuda, Kyoto, Japan, surpassed the career assist record with her 13th helper in a 6-2 win over Northwest Kansas Tech on Sept. 15, and remains among the national leaders in that category. Five days later, a 3-2 win on over sister institution Goshen (Ind.) College JV gave the program 39 goals, eclipsing the 37 goals scored by Kehr’s 2012 team.

On the receiving end of several of Matsuda’s assists was sophomore forward Mikaela Zook, Millersburg, Ind., a converted defender, who has flourished in her new role. Zook’s prodigious scoring, including a pair of four-goal matches, places her atop the Hesston annals as the all-time career scoring leader with 26 (and counting) goals. With one regular season game remaining, Zook is tied for sixth nationally with 21 goals this season.

On the defensive end, sophomore goal keeper Jaymee Bowers, Goshen, Ind., new to the net, has used her athleticism and willingness to learn to help power the Larks’ defense to a program-best eight shutouts.

The Larks’ team chemistry is perhaps best encapsulated by sophomore defender Enneliese Alcantar, Garden City, Kan., known affectionately by her teammates as “Chief.” Alcantar epitomizes a selfless team-first mentality central to this story. Her passion for the game and motivation to play for her teammates is helping push the program to new heights.

“Anyone who knows our team knows you can’t talk about our success without mentioning Chief,” Kehr said. “We’ve had a ton of positive leaders who have been willing to step up in a variety of roles, and it’s been gratifying to watch our kids buy in and compete for each other.”

“Several of the sophomores made it clear at the beginning of the season that this team would be united and we would play for each other,” said Meredith Spicher, Belleville, Pa., a converted high school field hockey player whose school didn’t offer girls soccer. “It’s been awesome to celebrate each others successes, which was one of the underlying goals Chief and the other leaders put in place at the beginning.”

Hesston Women’s Soccer reached a milestone on Oct. 3 with its 7-1 drubbing of Garden City (Kan.) CC, earning the program’s ninth win of the season, tying a club mark with nearly half of the schedule remaining. Since then, the Larks have won five more matches, treating its fans along the way to a perfect 9-0 home record.

Hesston’s win on Sophomore Night, Oct. 17, served as a recap of what the season has been all about. Scoreless at halftime, the Larks came out on a mission in the final 45 minutes, scoring five times to win going away. Five different players found the back of the net. Matsuda racked up three assists. Bowers, Alcantar and company gave another gutsy effort in the shutout. The Larks came together, like they had all year, to accomplish the task at hand.

After the match, emotion and smiles were everywhere. A perfect home record. Great relationships formed. Sacrifices made. Lessons learned. A special season, indeed.

The Larks are winning in all the ways in which a small, liberal arts athletics program wants, and needs, to win. They’re playing with passion, they field a competitive roster, they support each other and they’ve embraced the concept of team play. This team has received an education on how a community can come together to do great things.

“For a coach at a small, Christian school, the developing stories within the season are what it’s all about,” Kehr said. “This is what we hope for at the start of any new season. I expect our kids will always remember the impact they had on each other in 2015.”

Larks win on sophomore night; improve to 13-5

The Hesston College women’s soccer team beat Coffeyville (Kan.) CC 5-0 on Saturday, Oct. 17, to improve its season mark to 13-5 and continue the Larks’ memorable season. Hesston honored its sophomores with a brief program following the match.

Following a scoreless first half, freshman Genessis Martinez (Las Vegas, Nev.) knocked in a shot in the 50th minute to get the Hesston offense going. Five minutes later, Larks’ all-time leading scorer Mikaela Zook (Millersburg, Ind.) put back a rebounded save for a 2-0 lead and her 20th goal of the season.

Sophomore Sarah Hoover (Elbing, Kan.) added her second goal of the year with 28:12 to play to lengthen the lead to 3-0, followed by a Allison Ebersole (Boulder, Colo.) goal six minutes later that effectively put the game away.

Sophomore Machi Kanematsu (Osaka, Japan) scored in the 85th minute, her eighth of the year, to set the final.

Sophomore Jaymee Bowers (Goshen, Ind.) stopped three shots, including a great save with ten minutes remaining to preserve another shutout in goal in her final home match. Hesston out-shot Coffeyville 11-3.

Hesston travels to Goodland, Kan. for a 1 p.m. (MST) match against Northwest Kansas Technical College on Saturday, Oct. 24.

Larks pick up impressive road win

The Hesston College women’s soccer strong season continued with another win on Tuesday, Oct. 13, this time a 3-0 shutout at MCC-Blue River (Independence, Mo.), lifting the Larks to 11-5 on the year.

An unassisted goal by Mika Matsuda (Kyoto, Japan) in the 31st minute gave Hesston a 1-0 lead, followed by another unassisted goal courtesy of Machi Kanematsu (Osaka, Japan) just before halftime.

Mikaela Zook (Millersburg, Ind.), Hesston’s all-time leading scorer, made it 3-0 in the 76th minute with assists from Matsuda (the Larks all-time assist leader) and Sarah Hooover (Elbing, Kan.).

Jaymee Bowers (Goshen, Ind.) recorded another shutout in goal, stopping all 11 shots that came her way. Hesston enjoyed a 7-6 edge in corner kicks.

The Larks next match is 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15 at Oklahoma Wesleyan University JV (Bartlesville).

Larks surpass wins mark in 9-0 romp

The Hesston College women’s soccer team beat Southwestern Adventist University (Dallas, Texas) 9-0 on Sunday, Oct. 11, improving its season record to 10-5. The 10 wins represent an all-time high for the nine-year-old program.

Four Hesston players scored two goals each, including Mikaela Zook (Millersburg, Ind.), whose second goal (46th minute) of the match gave her 18 for the season and 23 for her career, both all-time highs.

Mika Matsuda (Kyoto, Japan) gave Hesston its first goal in the fifth minute and added another late in the first half. Allison Ebersole (Boulder, Colo.) scored in each half, as did Machi Kanematsu (Osaka, Japan). Freshman Leslie Hunsberger (Hollsopple, Pa.) knocked in a goal late in the second half.

The Larks dominated play the entire 90 minutes and out-shot SWAU 24-1. Jaymee Bowers (Goshen, Ind.) and Cassidy Bontrager (Wellman, Iowa) combined for the Larks fifth shutout, also a team record.

Hesston plays a 3 p.m. match on Tuesday, Oct. 13 at MCC-Blue River (Independence, Mo.).

Women’s Soccer ties season wins mark with 7-1 drubbing over Garden City

The Hesston College women’s soccer team continued its impressive season with a 7-1 home win over Garden City (Kan.) CC on Saturday, Oct. 3, improving to 9-4 on the year and tying Coach Bryan Kehr’s 2012 team for most wins in a season.

Lark fans watched Allison Ebersole get the night started with a goal at the 36:11 mark of the first half, only to see Garden City knot the score at 1-1 five minutes later. From there, it was a night filled with Hesston highlights.

In the 18th minute, history was made when sophomore Mikaela Zook (Millersburg, Ind.) lofted in a pretty shot from 30 yards to break the single-season scoring mark with her 15th goal of the year. Zook scored again in the second half for her 21st career goal, just one shy of the all-time career record.

Cassidy Bontrager (Wellman, Iowa) tapped in a goal in the 38th minute and Hesston took a 3-1 lead into the break.

The Larks dominated play in the final 45 minutes, scoring four more goals to cap an impressive night of soccer.

After Machi Kanematsu (Osaka, Japan) scored to give the Larks a three-goal lead, Mika Matsuda (Kyoto, Japan) made it 5-1 after an incredible move shook a defender and freed her for a point-blank shot on goal. Matsuda scored again after Zook’s second goal to set the final.

Jaymee Bowers (Goshen, Ind.) stopped seven shots in goal. Hesston out-shot GCCC 16-8.

The Larks travel to Indian Hills CC (Ottumwa, Iowa) for a 4 p.m. match on Thursday, Oct. 8.

Hesston boots Pratt 3-1; now 8-3

The Hesston College women’s soccer team downed Pratt (Kan.) CC 3-1 on Tuesday, Sept. 22, improving its season mark to 8-3.

In the 28th minute Allison Ebersole (Boulder, Colo.) connected with Mikaela Zook (Millersburg, Ind.) on a beautiful crossing pass to setup the game’s first goal and Zook’s 14th of the year.
Hesston controlled much of the first-half action and went to the break with a 1-0 lead and a 4-to-1 advantage in shots-on-goal.

With the Larks in control and seemingly headed for a shutout win, Pratt snuck in a goal to pull even at 1-1 with 17 minutes to play. Hesston responded less than two minutes later when Mika Matsuda (Kyoto, Japan) found the back of the net to bring the home crowd to its feet. Machi Kanematsu (Osaka, Japan) added a late goal in the closing seconds to set the final score.

Hesston Women’s Soccer is closing in on the season wins record (9 wins by the 2012 team) with nine games remaining.

Zook, meanwhile, continues her assault on the Hesston College record books, as the sophomore is now second in career goals scored (19) and tied 1st for goals in a season. Zook is three goals short of the all-time career goals mark of 22, held by current Larks assistant Megan Schrock (2007-08).

The Larks, 5-2 in Region VI play, host Tabor College JV (Hillsboro, Kan.) for a 5 p.m. match on Friday, Sept. 25 as part of the college’s homecoming weekend celebration.

Hesston continues fast start with big home win

The Hesston College women’s soccer team took care of Northwest Kansas Tech 6-2 on Tuesday, Sept. 15, improving its season mark to 6-2.

Just two minutes into the match Mikaela Zook (Millersburg, Ind.) continued her incredible year with a breakaway goal to give Hesston an early lead. The Larks controlled the early action but missed several opportunities to lengthen the lead as the first-half wore on, including a penalty kick opportunity that wasn’t converted.

With 14 minutes left in the half, Allison Ebersole (Boulder, Colo.) added to the lead with a pretty assist from Mika Matsuda (Kyoto, Japan) to give the Larks breathing room. Another goal by Ebersole a minute later built a commanding three-goal lead that Hesston took into halftime.

In the 59th minute, Jackie Rivas scored to get NW Tech on the board, but a Zook put-back with 26:45 left reestablished the three-goal lead at 4-1. Capping off yet another outstanding night, Zook added two late goals and now ranks third in the country in goals scored at 12.

Larks keepers Jaymee Bowers (Goshen, Ind.) and Cassidy Bontrager (Wellman, Iowa) played another solid match in the net. Hesston out-shot NW Tech 12-8.

The Larks travel to Allen CC (Iola, Kan.) for a 2 p.m. Region VI match on Thursday, Sept. 17.

Larks 5-1 after latest shutout win

The Hesston College women’s soccer team improved its season mark to 5-1 following a 5-0 win at Graceland University JV (Lamoni, Iowa) on Thursday, Sept. 10.

Allison Ebersole (Boulder, Colo.) opened the scoring in the 12th minute on an assist from Adele Hofer (Denver, Colo.). Mika Matsuda (Kyoto, Japan) scored on an assist from Mikaela Zook (Millersburg, Ind.) in the 30th minute to make it 2-0.

Shortly after halftime, two goals two minutes apart (60th minute: Zook – assisted by Hofer, 62nd minute: Ebersole – assisted by Matsuda) assured the Larks of the road win.

Christy Kauffman (West Liberty, Ohio) got in on the action with a goal of her own (assisted by Matsuda) in the 82nd minute to set the final score.

Jaymee Bowers (Goshen, Ind.) stopped two shots and Cassidy Bontrager (Wellman, Iowa) added a save to combine for Hesston’s fourth shutout of the young season.

The Larks travel to Rose State College (Midwest City, Okla.) for a 4 p.m. match on Sunday, Sept. 13.

Zook’s big day drives Larks to win

The Hesston College women’s soccer team beat Kansas City Kansas CC 4-3 on Tuesday, Sept. 8, improving its season record to 4-1.

A 30-minute lightning delay was the only thing that slowed down Mikaela Zook, (Millersburg, Ind.) as the sophomore enjoyed a monster day with three goals and an assist to spearhead the Larks attack.

After her first goal in the 5th minute opened the scoring, Zook found the back of the net again in the 31st minute with a beautifully placed shot in the top corner to make it 2-0. Just two minutes later, Allison Ebersole (Boulder, Colo.) scored on a nice through ball from Zook to extend the lead.

Seven minutes into the second half, Zook completed the hat-trick with a put-back off a point-blank shot-on-goal by Ebersole to make it 4-0. A furious KCK rally in the final 20 minutes made things interesting, but Coach Kehr’s Larks pulled out the region win.

After five games, Zook is tied for ninth nationally in points scored with 18 (7 goals, 4 assists.) Mika Matsuda (Kyoto, Japan) (16 points) and Ebersole (15 points) are also ranked in the top-20 in points.

Up next for Hesston is a 5 p.m. match on Thursday, Sept. 10 at Graceland University JV (Lamoni, Iowa).

Larks win in Texas, now 3-0

The Hesston College women’s soccer team made a quick trip to Dallas, Texas, on Friday, Aug. 28 to take on Mountain View College and came away with a 3-0 win.

Allison Ebersole (Boulder, Colo.), Genessis Martinez (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Jaymee Bowers (Goshen, Ind.) all scored in the shutout win.

The Larks, now 3-0 on the year, have yet to surrender a goal this season. Hesston travels to Dodge City (Kan.) CC for a 5 p.m. match on Saturday, Sept. 5.

Larks improve to 2-0 after rolling over Neosho

The Hesston College women’s soccer team continued its fast start to the 2015 season with a 15-0 drubbing over Neosho County CC (Chanute, Kan.) on Tuesday, August 25.

Just 40 seconds into the match, freshman Genessis Martinez (Las Vegas, Nevada) got things rolling with a point-blank goal assisted by Allison Ebersole (Boulder, Colo.). Cristy Kauffman (West Liberty, Ohio) made it 2-0 with a well-timed header off a corner kick in the 6th minute.

Mika Matsuda’s (Kyoto,Japan) goal in the eighth minute kept the offense going and set the tone for a big day for the freshman, as both her and Mikaela Zook (Millersburg, Ind.) each finished with four goals.

Rachel Brown’s (McKinney, Texas) goal off a free kick in the 35th minute made it 10-0, establishing a new program record for goals in a game.

The Larks travel to Dallas, Texas for a 7 p.m. match versus Mountain View College on Friday, August 28.

Ebersole, Larks topple Cowley

The Hesston College women’s soccer team won its home opener by a 2-0 count over Cowley College (Arkansas City, Kan.) on Saturday, Aug. 22.

In the 19th minute, freshman Allison Ebersole (Boulder, Colo.) found the top corner of the net with a inside-of-the-boot strike to put the Larks on top.

The score remained 1-0 at the break after sophomore keeper Jaymee Bowers (Middlebury, Ind.) stopped three first-half shots.

Ebersole, whose second goal in the 82nd minute iced the win, just missed a hat-trick as another shot sailed wide with four minutes to play.

Freshman Cassidy Bontrager (Wellman, Iowa) made a terrific save in the 80th minute to keep the score at 1-0.

Hesston hosts a 5 p.m. match versus Neosho County CC (Chanute, Kan.) on Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Hesston women’s soccer looking to breakout

Fifth-year Hesston College women’s soccer coach Bryan Kehr believes a dynamic midfield and added talent on the offensive side will propel the Larks to success in 2015.

Last year’s leading scorer Machi Kanematsu (Osaka, Japan) joins newcomers Adele Hofer (Denver, Colo.) and Mika Matsuda (Kyoto, Japan) in the midfield. Freshmen Allison Ebersole (Boulder, Colo.), Genessis Martinez (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Christy Kauffman (West Liberty, Ohio) join sophomore Mikaela Zook (Millersburg, Ind.) as the Larks look to form an exciting attack.

Several talented new faces join returners Jayme Bowers (Goshen, Ind.), Chase Spencer (Oologah, Okla.) Jenna VonBargen (Baldwin City, Kan.) and Enneliese Alcantar (Garden City, Kan.) on the defensive side.

“We have smart players who are anxious to learn,” Kehr said. “A talented freshman class will add to our nice mix of sophomores and I believe we will be fun to watch.”

One of 16 Division I programs in the rigorous NJCAA Region VI, Hesston College Women’s Soccer annually boasts a competitive soccer environment and this year’s schedule is no different. The Larks home opener, a 5 p.m. match versus Cowley College on Saturday, Aug. 22, will be a good measuring stick for the Hesston program.