Women’s Soccer News Archive 2014-2015

Women’s Soccer adds forward to 2015 recruiting class

Hesston College women’s soccer coach Bryan Kehr announces Christy Kauffman, a forward from West Liberty (Ohio)-Salem High School, as the newest member of the Larks 2015 recruiting class.

A key part of West Liberty-Salem’s conference championship team in 2014, Kauffman tallied nine goals and seven assists and brings athleticism and experience to the Larks attack.

An honor student and National Honor Society member, Kauffman will study graphic design at Hesston. She attends Maple Grove Mennonite Church, West Liberty.

“We’re excited to have Christy join the Larks soccer program,” Kehr said. “She comes from a successful high school program and she scored critical goals for the team during its run to a conference title.”

Kauffman is the daughter of Jerry and Roxanne Kauffman, West Liberty.

Women’s Soccer signs Iowa Mennonite School senior

Hesston College women’s soccer coach Bryan Kehr announces Cassidy Bontrager, a goalie/defender/forward from Iowa Mennonite School, Kalona, as the newest member of the Larks 2015 recruiting class.

A four year varsity player in soccer and basketball, Bontrager scored one goal and saved 44 shots as a senior for IMS soccer. An academic all-conference selection in basketball as a junior, Bontrager will study youth ministry and early childhood education at Hesston.

“Cassidy has been a strong asset to our program for the last four years,” IMS coach Maya Kehr Yoder said. “Last year she was a valuable player at both forward and keeper.”

Bontrager is a member and youth group participant at Wellman (Iowa) Mennonite Church. She is the daughter of Gary and Julie Bontrager, Wellman.

“Cassidy is a hard working player who will communicate well with her team mates,” Kehr said. “She will be a great addition for the Hesston program.”

In soccer, Hesston College competes in Division I of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). Located 30 miles north of Wichita, Hesston College is the two-year liberal arts college of Mennonite Church USA.

Women’s soccer adds Hofer to 2015 recruiting class

Hesston College women’s soccer coach Bryan Kehr announces Adele Hofer, a center midfielder/keeper from Denver Christian High School, as the newest member of the Larks 2015 recruiting class.

A soccer team captain, Hofer also excels in basketball at Denver Christian where she was named MVP after she led the team in scoring her junior year.

“Adele is a gifted midfielder who will have an immediate impact on our program,” Kehr said. “She was a multi-sport athlete in high school who served leadership roles in both basketball and soccer.”

A National Honor Society member and honor student, Hofer will study psychology at Hesston.

“Adele is an incredibly intelligent player,” said Denver Christian coach Brad Homan. “She reads the game well both offensively and defensively and distributes the ball well from her central position. Adele had been a rock in the midfield for us the past two years. Her intelligence along with her work ethic will allow her to have success at the next level.”

Hofer is the daughter of Preston and Marjorie Hofer, Denver. She attends Peace Mennonite Church, Aurora, Colo.

Women’s soccer signs Ebersole to letter-of-intent

Hesston College women’s soccer coach Bryan Kehr announces Allison Ebersole, a forward/midfielder from Centaurus High School, Lafayette, Colo., as the first member of the Larks 2015 recruiting class.

Voted team MVP in soccer and volleyball at Centaurus High, Ebersole scored 10 goals as a senior.

An Honor Roll student her junior year and student council member, Ebersole, will study athletic training at Hesston.

“Allison is a proven scorer who I believe will make an immediate impact for us,” Kehr said. “She’s grown up around the game as her dad coaches the Centauras High boy’s soccer team and is a former soccer coach at Hesston College. Allison has a great understanding of the game.”

Ebersole is the daughter of Ken and Meredith Ebersole, Lafayette. She attends Flatirons Community Church, Lafayette.

Women’s Soccer makes players’ worlds smaller

When Hesston College women’s soccer coach Bryan Kehr recruited midfielder Chihiro Hikita, Hokuto, Japan, he correctly assumed he’d added an unmistakable talent and instant scoring threat. Hikita didn’t disappoint in the fall of 2011, leading Hesston to a then program-best seven wins. What Kehr didn’t realize is that Hikita was the first of many Japanese players who would make an impact for the Larks.

A year after Hikita led the Larks in goals and points scored, Kehr added Myu Kobayashi, Yokosuka, Japan, and Yoshie Ueno, Tokyo, Japan, to the 2012 roster. Kobayashi exploded onto the college soccer scene in her debut, recording a hat-trick in a season-opening Hesston win. Ueno, meanwhile, was becoming a positive leader and role model on the team – a role that Kehr describes as very significant.

Kobayashi, HC’s all-time assist leader and team captain her sophomore year, ranks fifth in career points. Hikita is tied for 8th in that same category, while current freshman Machi Kanematsu, Osaka, Japan, was the Larks’ leading scorer this season and has already cracked the career points top 10.

Looking back, the four players’ time with the Hesston program has made an impact on much more than just the stat sheet. Indeed, Hikita, Ueno, Kobayashi and Kanematsu have shared their culture and friendship, along with their athletic talents, with their teammates in south-central Kansas.

Following her first semester, teammate Jessica Donnelly ’14 hosted Ueno for several weeks at her Gresham, Ore., home, just as she had done for Kobayashi the year before. Now an Oregon State University (Corvallis) student, Ueno’s time on the Hesston soccer team enriched her college experience.

“Playing soccer gave me so many great memories,” Ueno said. “I didn’t have many American friends before I joined the team, but my teammates quickly became like family to me. The relationships I built on the team enhanced my college life a great deal.”

Japanese students have a long and significant international student presence at Hesston, and the recent women’s soccer players from Japan have added to the rich Hesston history of diversity and multiculturalism. Studying in another culture while playing soccer, the Japanese students managed to do some teaching, too.

As part of Kehr’s prescribed monthly team social activity, Ueno and Kobayashi hosted a sushi meal their freshman year. About half the team participated, Kehr remembers, with the other half being a little unsure of Japanese cuisine. A year later, Kehr recalls clean plates and a new-found appreciation for new experiences. This year’s sushi meal has been scheduled for February.

“Coach Kehr taught me so many things through soccer practice and games,” Ueno said. “He gave me a chance to join the team and for that I am grateful. As an international student, playing soccer allowed me to meet many amazing people. Words can’t explain how much I love my former teammates.”

“Through counting in Japanese instead of English, having a Japanese word of the day and learning to make sushi as a team we’ve all enjoyed having international students on our team,” said sophomore Elisabeth Wilder, Hesston, Kan. “It’s been a great way to build relationships across cultural lines.”

Women’s soccer earns road win

The Hesston College women’s soccer team earned a 2-1 win over Southwest Adventist University (Keene, Texas) on Sunday, Oct. 12, improving its record to 4-7-1.

Megan Baumgartner (Hesston, Kan.) and Rachel Short-Miller (Bellingham, Wash.) each scored for the Larks, while Cadie Kiger (Jeffersonville, Ind.) and Dusti Diener (Harrisonville, Mo.) recorded assists.

Hesston looks to make it two wins in a row when they play Dallas (Texas) Christian College at 2 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 13.

Hesston women’s soccer wins again

The Hesston College women’s soccer team continued its recent strong play with a 2-1 win over Pratt (Kan.) CC on Friday, Sept. 19. The win was the Larks third in its past four games.

Down 1-0, Hesston freshman Machi Kanematsu (Osaka, Japan) evened the score with an unassisted goal at the 26:35 mark. Hesston and Pratt took the 1-1 tie into the second half, where Larks’ freshman Mikaela Zook (Middlebury, Ind.) found the back of the net in the 67th minute.

Assisted by Rachel Short-Miller (Bellingham, Wash.), Zook’s goal proved the difference, as sophomore keeper Skylar Tripp (Craig, Colo.) stopped four shots on goal to get the win in the net.

Having improved its season mark to 3-4-2, the Larks look to keep the good times rolling with a 5 p.m. home match against Barton CC on Tuesday, Sept. 23.


Larks erupt for 6-0 win

The Hesston College women’s soccer team scored six times after the intermission in a blowout win over Indian Hills CC (Ottumwa, Iowa) on Sunday, Sept. 14, improving its record to 2-4-1.

Scoreless at the half, Savannah Sizer (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) put the Larks on the board in the 49th minute, assisted by Dusti Diener (Harrisonville, Mo.) and Machi Kanematsu (Osaka, Japan). Following Sizer’s goal, the Larks offense found the back of the net often en route to the big road win.

Rachel Short-Miller (Bellingham, Wash.) scored in the 53rd minute, assisted by Diener and Mikaela Zook (Middlebury, Ind.). Zook scored seven minutes later, while Jaymee Bowers (Middlebury, Ind.) made it 4-0 in the 65th minute. Short-Miller finished with two goals, while Kanematsu capped off a busy night with an unassisted goal to go with three assists.

Hesston keepers Skylar Tripp (Craig, Colo.) and Starr Caldwell (Ashland, Ky.) combined for the shutout in goal.

Larks take down Cowley for first season win

The Hesston College women’s soccer team secured its first victory of the year with an exciting 2-1 overtime win at Cowley College (Arkansas City).

Rachel Short-Miller, a sophomore midfielder from Bellingham, Wash., intercepted a pass in the overtime period and converted the breakaway for the winner. Freshman Mikaela Zook (Middlebury, Ind.) scored Hesston’s first goal on an assist from freshman Machi Kanematsu (Osaka, Japan).

Now 1-3-1 on the year, Hesston travels to Butler CC (El Dorado) for a 7 p.m. game on Friday, Sept. 12.



Larks earns 1-1 draw against Rose State

The Hesston College women’s soccer team went three overtime periods on Tuesday, Sept. 2 against Rose State College (Midwest City, Okla.), finally finishing at a 1-1 draw.

Machi Kanematsu (Osaka, Japan) gave Hesston a 1-0 lead in the 51st minute on an assist from Dusti Diener (Harrisonville, Mo.). Rose State answered with less than four minutes in regulation to send the game to its first overtime.

Rose State had seven shots-on-goal to Hesston’s five and held a 5-1 advantage in corner kicks.

Larks keeper Skylar Tripp (Craig, Colo.) had six saves.

Now 0-2-1, Hesston hosts Dodge City (Kan.) CC at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 5.

Hesston women’s soccer ready to take a step up

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.

Women’s soccer adds Oologah (Okla.) grad to 2014 roster

Women’s soccer coach Bryan Kehr announces Chase Spencer, a forward from Oologah (Okla.) Public School, as the newest addition to Hesston’s 2014 recruiting class. 

A three-sport athlete at Oologah, Spencer ran track and played basketball in addition to soccer. A captain her senior year in soccer, Spencer was named Outstanding Forward following her sophomore and junior years.

“I watched Chase play twice this past year; she’s a versatile player who can play several different positions,” Kehr said. “Chase has a great work rate and has demonstrated leadership qualities. She understands the game well and we’re excited to have her join the program.”

Spencer, a Principal’s Honor Roll student in high school, will study nursing at Hesston. She attends Harbor Church, Oologah.

Spencer is the daughter of Bryan Spencer and Dena Thompson.

Marais des Cygnes Valley High senior inks with Hesston College women’s basketball and soccer

Hesston College coaches Bryan Kehr and Dan Harrison announce Erin Coffman, a senior at Marais des Cygnes Valley High School, Melvern, Kan., as the newest addition to the Larks women’s soccer and basketball programs, respectively.

Coffman played soccer and basketball for Cornerstone homeschool team through her junior year before transferring to MdCV. While competing for Cornerstone, she helped win a national championship in basketball and a pair of league titles in soccer. Coffman competed in volleyball, basketball and track at MdCV, which doesn’t offer soccer.

A National Honor Society member, Coffman will study athletic training at Hesston. She attends Mount Pleasant Community Church, Lyndon, Kan.

“I’m excited to work with Erin this coming fall,” Kehr said. “She’s an outstanding student and will add tremendous athleticism to our program. I believe Erin will be a solid player for the next two seasons.”

“Erin will bring athleticism to the small forward position,” Harrison said. “She has a wonderful team-first attitude and I believe she can fill the role of being one of our top defenders on the court.”

Coffman is the daughter of Michael and Sherri Coffman, Vassar, Kan.

Women’s soccer signs Zook to letter-of-intent

Hesston College women’s soccer coach Bryan Kehr announces Mikaela Zook, a defender from Northridge High School, Middlebury, Ind., as the latest addition to the Larks 2014 recruiting class.

An all-conference, all-district and third-team all-state selection during the 2013 season, Zook was a key member of coach Bill Redinger’s highly successful Raider squad which won four consecutive Northern Lakes Conference championships and claimed the 2013 sectional championship. She was an instrumental part of the Raiders defense that didn’t allow a goal in conference play the past two years. Also a standout on the Northridge basketball team, Zook adds speed and athleticism to the Hesston roster.

“We’re happy to have a player of Mikaela’s caliber join the Larks program,” Kehr said. “We’re looking to build on the program’s continued improvement and believe Mikaela can help us take another step forward.”

Zook is the daughter of Doug and Teresa Zook, Middlebury. She will study exercise science at Hesston.