Women’s Soccer News Archive 2017-2018

Lark women’s soccer works to top best season in team history

Coming off their best season in school history (12-6), the Larks women’s soccer team anticipates continued success.

While it is difficult to replace 47 of the team’s 70 goals and a starting goalkeeper and two starting defenders, Coach Bryan Kehr is optimistic. “I believe that we have recruited players of high character and anticipate that this group will be great to work with” says Kehr.

Kenzie Johnson is the leading returning scorer with 10 goals and 1 assist in 2016. Miho Okuda returns after a strong season in midfield (7 goals, 6 assists) and starting defenders Lindsey Yoder and Payton Yehnert give the Larks a defensive nucleus to build around. Add that to the other hard working returners and quality incoming freshman class Coach Kehr says “I expect there to be a great competition for playing time at every position and I believe we will be entertaining to watch.”

The women’s program is becoming a consistent force within the region. After hosting a playoff game last year, there is no reason to believe with the hard work and quality uniting on the field to expect anything less. After two scrimmages (7 p.m., Monday, Aug. 21 at Central Christian College, and 7 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 23 at Bethel College), the team will kick off their season with a Friday, Aug. 25, game at Ottawa University followed by a Sunday home game against Southwestern Adventist University (noon).

Lantz signs to play soccer for the Larks

Morgan Lantz signs a letter of intent to play women’s soccer at Hesston College. Joining her are her stepfather and, Derrick and Tori Lloyd (seated), Elkhart County United FC coach Drew Nussbaum and Hesston College coach Bryan Kehr.

Hesston College women’s soccer coach Bryan Kehr signed Morgan Lantz, a defender from Elkhart County United FC and Northridge High School of Middlebury, Indiana, as the first member of the Larks 2017 recruiting class. Coach Kehr states, “I believe Morgan will be a great addition to the Larks team. I was impressed at her signing that former teammates traveled several hours to be with her during this time. This says a lot about the type of teammate Morgan is and will be at Hesston.”

United coach Drew Nussbaum says that Lantz “brings a fearless energy to the field which sets her apart. She will go toe to toe with any attacker. Off the field she is a compassionate kid and will be a great addition to Hesston College.” Coach Nussbaum is a 2009 Hesston College graduate.

Lantz plans to major in social work or criminal and restorative justice at Hesston. She is the daughter of Tori Lloyd, stepfather Derrick Lloyd and Phillip Lantz of Goshen, Indiana.

Larks fall to Coffeyville in home regional playoff

The fourth seeded Hesston College women’s soccer team fell 4-0 to the visiting Red Ravens from Coffeyville Community College on Saturday night in the Larks first ever home playoff appearance.

The Red Ravens didn’t take long to get things going, scoring in the 10th minute on a corner kick that was headed in past sophomore goalkeeper Cassidy Bontrager (Wellman, Iowa). The Larks responded with attacking play and more pressure in front of the goal but couldn’t find the back of the net. Coffeyville added a second goal before halftime to lead 2-0 at the break.

The Larks settled into the match but weren’t able to shake the two goal deficit. The Red Ravens scored two more late in the second half to gain a commanding 4-0 lead. Sophomore Mika Matsuda (Kyoto, Japan) missed an opportunity to put Hesston on the scoreboard putting her penalty kick wide left with seconds to go in the second half. With the win, the red Ravens advance to the next round where they will take on top seeded Butler County Community College (El Dorado, Kan.) at Hummer Park in Topeka.

“It is sad for me to see this season come to an end because each day it was a joy to go to practice,” Coach Bryan Kehr commented. “Coffeyville is a good team and played well; congratulations to the Red Ravens on advancing to the Region VI semifinals.“

The loss concludes the season for Hesston College, finishing with an impressive 12-6 record, one of the best seasons in the history of the program for Coach Kehr.

Several players added their names to the Hesston College record book this year. Sophomores Allison Ebersole (Lafayette, Colo.) and Mika Matsuda (Kyoto, Japan) took the top two spots in for goals (Ebersole-37; Matsuda-34) and points (Matsuda-118; Ebersole-84) in a career. Matsuda also set a career record for assists (50) and nearly matched her season assist mark with 22 this year. She also set a season mark for points with 60, surpassing her mark set last year by two points. Sophomore goal keeper Cassidy Bontrager is second in career and season shutouts with six. Bontrager is also second in season goals against average (1.54) and save percentage (.772).

“Our sophomores have placed their stamp on the program with both their play on the field and their work in the classroom and on campus. We will miss them,” Kehr added.

Others finding places in the top 10 in various career categories include: goals – Kenzie Johnson (tied for 9th, 10 goals); assists – Ebersole and Adele Hofer (tied for 5th, 10), Genessis Martinez (9th, 8); and saves – Bontrager (4th, 128). Those earning spots in season top 10 categories include: goals – Matsuda (tied for 2nd, 19), Ebersole (4th, 18) and Johnson (tied for 9th, 10); assists – Hofer and Miho Okuda (tied for 7th, 6); points – Ebersole (5th, 40); and saves – Bontrager (6th, 99). Hesston Women’s Soccer Records

Women’s Soccer to host first ever playoff match

The Hesston College women’s soccer team will host their first ever Region VI home playoff match on Saturday, October 29, at 6 p.m. The Larks earned the #2 west seed (#4 overall) and will take on the #3 seeded Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College Red Ravens who have the #5 overall seed.

With a 12-5 record, the Larks have enjoyed one of the most successful seasons in program history and will have a favorable match up with the Red Ravens (9-6-2). “It’s going to be a challenging game, but we have been working really hard this year,” Head Coach Bryan Kehr commented following the bracket announcement. “I like our chances.”

Sophomores Mika Matsuda (Kyoto, Japan)(19 goals, 22 assists), Allison Ebersole (Boulder, Colo.)(18 goals, four assists) and Kenzie Johnson (Olathe, Kan.)(10 goals, 1 assist) will lead the attack for Hesston College. Sophomore goalkeeper Cassidy Bontrager (Wellman, Iowa) has been solid in the net with six shutouts on the year.

The winner advances to the second round on Nov. 3 and will travel to Topeka, Kan., to play the winner of nationally ranked #2 Butler County Community College (#1 overall seed) vs. #8 Dodge City Community College. Kickoff for that match is set for 4 p.m. at Hummer Park in Topeka.

Larks drop close match to Conquistadors

Hesston College women’s soccer found themselves on the wrong end of a 1-0 scoreline as Dodge City Community College netted a late goal to knock off the Larks in their final regular season match.

The Larks had a few good chances to get on the board but were unable to finish. Sophomore Allison Ebersole (Boulder, Colo.) saw herself in on goal in the 15th minute after latching on to a through ball but after beating the goalkeeper, saw her shot cleared off the line by a defender. The match didn’t produce any goals in the first half as both sides played disciplined defense. In the 75th minute the Conquistadors were able to unlock the defense scoring the lone goal of the match. Hesston College pushed numbers forward in the final 15 minutes searching for the equalizer, unable to do so. The win pushes the Conqs to 8-7 while the loss dips the Larks to 12-5 overall.

After a successful regular season, women’s soccer is expected to host a first round Region IV playoff match on Saturday October 29, time and opponent to be announced.

Larks ease past Pratt on sophomore night

The Hesston College women’s soccer team defeated the Pratt Community College Beavers 9-0 on sophomore night at Hesston College in a complete team performance.

The Larks opened the match controlling the tempo and run of play getting on the board in the 18th minute on a goal from sophomore Kenzie Johnson (Olathe, Kan.) and never looked back. Johnson added her second goal of the match before sophomore, Miho Okuda (Japan) scored the third goal to take a commanding 3-0 lead. Freshman, Payton Yehnert (Parker, Colo.) scored seconds before the break to give the Larks a 4-0 halftime lead.

Sophomore, Mika Matsuda (Kyoto, Japan) added two goals and two assists in the winning effort. Jenna Boller, Adele Hofer and Allison Ebersole also found the net for the Larks with assists from Abby Byler, Johnson, Matsuda (2), Okuda, Ebersole, Yehnert, Alicia Ramirez and Rachel Brown. Sophomore goalkeeper, Cassidy Bontrager (Wellman, Iowa) made one save earning the shutout in goal for Hesston.

“I thought we controlled possession and it was great to see the goals for our fans,” Coach Bryan Kehr commented. “It was a good win and a great night for us to remember all that this group of sophomores have meant to the program.”

The win pushes the Larks to 12-4 overall going into the weekend. The team will play their final regular season match on Sunday, Oct. 23, when they travel to Dodge City for a 4 p.m. match.

Larks battle but fall to Blue Dragons late

The Hesston College women’s soccer team fell 4-0 to 13th ranked Hutchinson Community College Blue Dragons on Wednesday afternoon in Hutchinson, Kan.

For 80 minutes the teams fought to a scoreless draw, weathering the storms of each other’s attacks. it was looking like the Larks could grab a tie, force overtime or win with a late goal. The Blue Dragons broke through with a goal in the 80th minute on a shot that dribbled past Hesston keeper Cassidy Bontrager’s initial save. Hutch added a second goal a minute later with a hard shot just inside the right post from about 25′.

The Larks didn’t give up, pushing into the offensive third and producing several shots on goal but the Blue Dragons added goals in the 87th and 89th minutes to produce a 4-0 final score. The loss drops Hesston to 11-3.

Women’s soccer returns to the field with another road game in Great Bend taking on Barton College at 2 p.m. Oct. 13. The Larks defeated the Cougars 4-1 in Hesston last month.

Women’s soccer team success about more than winning

by Keegan Cook, Hesston College Horizon Sports Editor

If you haven’t seen the Hesston College women’s soccer team play this season, you’re missing out. Not only are the Larks having the best season in the program’s history, as the number two team in Region VI, their 11-2 record makes them an intimidating competitor to some impressive teams.

On that list are Metropolitan Community College-Blue River (Independence, Mo.), Barton Community College (Great Bend, Kan.) and the nationally-ranked Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College who was tied with Hesston for the top spot in Region VI until a Oct. 7 game when Hesston lost to HCC 5 to 1. Other than HCC, Metropolitan CC-Blue River is the only team so far this season that has been able to defeat the Larks. Even more impressive: The Larks are also playing up to the Division I level of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).

“In most sports Hesston College completes at the division II level,” head soccer coach Bryan Kehr explained. “However, because there is no division II in soccer, Hesston College is playing at the division I level.”

Hesston College has only had a women’s soccer program since 2007. In fact, between 2007 and 2015 they had an overall record of 56 wins, 98 losses and eight draws. So how are the Larks able to experience so much success now? Kehr is quick to note that this success didn’t happen overnight.

“This team builds on the success of past years,” Kehr said. “We had a great team last year with a 15-6 record which included being undefeated at home.”

The difference between this year’s team and last year’s team is that this year the returning players know what winning feels like.

“When players experience these winning attitudes, it becomes easier to replicate them,” Kehr said. “This year’s team has some special players with great soccer skill, but we are also comprised of players who are working hard and playing for each other.”

Part of the Larks success also has to do with how well the team has bonded.

“We began practice with each player and coach sharing their favorite 30 seconds of life that they would love to get to live over,” Kehr said. “Players share different memories, including a quiet time at the top of a mountain in Colorado, the birth of a niece, and the moment they were adopted.”

Kehr loves spending time like this with his team.

“Learning to know each of these outstanding young women even a little bit is the greatest moment so far,” he said.

His players agree.
“Playing with great teammates and creating friendships is definitely my favorite part,” freshman Jenna Boller said. “And having a winning streak is a definite bonus!”

The Larks look to continue their great season starting with a Oct. 12 rematch against Hutchinson Community College at Hutchinson.


*This article originally appeared in the Hesston Horizon.


Larks fall to #14 Blue Dragons, defeat Dodge City

The Hesston College women’s soccer team fell 5-1 to #14 ranked Hutchinson Community College on Friday night. Facing their toughest opponent on the season, the Larks were challenged by the Blue Dragons athleticism.

Hutchinson stormed out to a quick 2-0 lead and added a goal in the 44th minute to take a 3-0 advantage at halftime. The Blue Dragons controlled the tempo of the match and were able to capitalize on scoring opportunities in the first half. The Larks made some adjustments at the break and showed more fight in the second half, being outscored 2-1.

Hesston College avoided the shutout getting on the board courtesy of a goal from sophomore Allison Ebersole (Boulder, Colo.) with only minutes to go in the game. Sophomore Mika Matsuda led the larks with four shots. The win pushes the Blue Dragons to 12-1 on the season. The loss is only the second on the season for Hesston College, which sees their record dip to 10-2.

Okuda goal sets up overtime thriller

The women’s soccer team got back to their winning ways, coming from behind to defeat the Dodge City Conquistadors 4-3 in double overtime on Saturday night.

Freshman Miho Okuda (Japan) scored a long range goal with only two minutes left to send the match into overtime. “It was big for us to come back from behind and score late on a beautiful goal by Miho and then to win the game with one minute left,“ Head Coach Bryan Kehr said following the match. Sophomore scoring leader Allison Ebersole added two more for the record book, scoring in the 9th and 29th minutes to give the larks a 2-1 lead only to see Dodge City equalize before halftime.

The second half began with a quick goal from the Conqs to get their first and only lead at 3-2. Hesston piled on possessions and chances on goal, finally scoring with a minute to go in regulation to force overtime. Larks net minder Cassidy Bontrager thwarted several Dodge City attacks late in the second overtime before a Miho Okuda shot from the right side found the net, giving Hesston the with with 1:30 remaining.

“Playing on back to back nights both teams had tired legs, but both teams played with a lot of grit and determination. This game was pretty huge in terms of region standings. One of our goals is to host a home playoff game for the first time, and this keeps us on track to do that,” Kehr said.

Women’s soccer will have a shot at revenge Wednesday Oct. 12 when they travel to Hutchinson CC to take on the #14 Blue Dragons. Kickoff is 4 p.m.

Larks take off in second half, fly past Garden City

The Hesston College women’s soccer team, playing in front of a nice homecoming crowd, scored four second half goals to defeat the visiting Broncbusters 5-2 on Saturday evening. With the win, the Larks improve their record to 10-1.

The first half started with each team scoring in the opening 10 minutes. The Larks had a few good chances to pull out in front, the best being a missed penalty kick from sophomore Allison Ebersole (Boulder, Colo.) in the 43rd minute after she was fouled in the box. With the scored knotted at 1-1 at the break, the Larks went to work.

Hesston scored three goals in about 10 minutes to open the second half to take a commanding lead over Garden City, a team they narrowly defeated 2-0 in Garden City two weeks ago. “They were attacking the backline and causing problems,” Head Coach Bryan Kehr commented. “They were pressing high and we talked at half about playing more directly. Three of our second half goals and our first half goal all came from a direct through ball.”

Women’s soccer will have almost a week off to prepare for their toughest opponent this season, nationally ranked #14 Hutchinson CC on Friday Oct. 7. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Johnson’s hat trick leads Larks past Swedes

The Hesston College women’s soccer team won their fifth straight match defeating the visiting Bethany College Swedes JV 6-0 on Monday evening pushing their record to 9-1.

Sophomore Kenzie Johnston (Olathe, Kan.) scored three goals leading Hesston College to a comfortable victory. Johnson opened the scoring for the Larks pouncing on a back pass intended for the goalkeeper and slotted it in for a 1-0 lead just seven minutes into action. The Larks continued high pressure and were awarded another goal just after the half hour mark when Johnson struck again to pushing the lead to 2-0 at halftime.

The second half began with a Larks goal in the 47th minute as Miho Okuda (Noroshinoshi chliba-ken, Japan) scored from close range to give the team a comfortable lead. Johnson completed her hat trick in the 75th minute on a nicely taken goal. The nation’s assist leader, sophomore Mika Matsuda (Kyoto, Japan), didn’t get an assist but scored a goal in the 85th minute to put the Larks in front 5-0. Sophomore Dakoda Lee (Boise, Idaho) added the exclamation point with the sixth goal of the night coming two minutes before the final whistle.

“I thought we looked good and moved the ball around pretty well tonight,” said Coach Kehr following the game. Goalkeeper Cassidy Bontrager (Wellman, Iowa) notched three saves in route to another shut out.

Women’s soccer will look for their 10th win of the season on Saturday, Oct. 1, when they play host to the Garden City Broncbusters at 5 p.m. Garden City will be looking for revenge after dropping a close 2-0 match to Hesston Sept. 20

Ebersole becomes Larks women’s soccer’s all time leading scorer

To say that sophomore Allison Ebersole (Boulder, Colo.) is having a good season would be an understatement. It’s barely half over and Ebersole has already grabbed the Hesston College career scoring record. Her 11 goals in nine games have launched the Larks to a an impressive 8-1 record. In 2015, she tallied 19 goals giving her 30 in her career, surpassing Mikaela Zook’s impressive career record of 28 goals set last year.

“It’s just my job,” said a smiling Ebersole following a practice late last week. “My teammates have been able to put me in good places,” including fellow sophomore Mika Matsuda (Kyoto, Japan), who came into the weekend leading the nation in assists with 14, many of these going to Ebersole.

Ebersole’s new record at Hesston is more remarkable considering that soccer was not her main sport in high school. A four year letter winner in volleyball at Centaurus High School (Lafayette, Colo.), she didn’t originally plan on playing collegiate soccer. Her athletic ability is no surprise. Allison’s father, Ken Ebersole, was a multi-sport athlete and, later, a coach at Hesston College. Her mother, Meredith, was a college soccer player at Penn State University (State College). Coming into college, Ebersole seemed as if volleyball was her path, however late in the process she decided to commit to Hesston College for soccer, a decision appreciated by both her teammates and coach Bryan Kehr.

“Allison has been an impact player for us from the day she arrived on campus,” Coach Kehr noted. “We kind of knew this record would fall and we hope she will add quite a few more over the course of the season.”

Ebersole and company will look to add more goals and wins on the season as the Larks continue their impressive run. Hesston College women’s soccer will be back in action Monday, Sept 26 against Bethany College JV at 5 p.m.

Women’s soccer rides hot start to cruise past Cougars

A couple of early goals in the first half propelled the Hesston College women’s soccer team past the visiting Barton Community College Cougars (Great Bend, Kan.). The win against Barton is the program’s first ever and takes the Larks’ season mark to 8-1.

Sophomore Christy Kauffmann (West Liberty, Ohio) opened the scoring in the 8th minute, glancing a shot over the hands of the outstretched Cougars goalkeeper from the corner of the box. Sophomore Mika Matsuda (Kyoto, Japan) doubled the lead minutes later, blasting a shot in from nearly 25 yards out. Sophomore Alicia Ramirez (Albuquerque, N.M.) scored in the 25th minute to give Hesston a commanding lead at 3-0 going into the break.

The teams exchanged goals in the second half to bring the final score to 4-1. Goalkeeper Cassidy Bontrager made three saves for the Larks.

Women’s soccer returns for another home match on Monday Sept. 26, hosting Bethany College JV. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m.

Women’s soccer overcomes slow start to defeat Mules

The Hesston College women’s soccer team shrugged off a slow start against Northwest Kansas Technical College in Goodland, but finished with momentum winning 3-1.

After a scoreless first half, sophomore Kenzie Johnson (Olathe, Kan.) scored to put the Larks up 1-0. The Mules tied the game at 1 at the 60 minute mark. Sophomore Allison Ebersole (Boulder, Colo.) regained the lead for the Larks and Johnson struck again with only minutes remaining on the clock to seal the victory. With the victory the Larks stretch their win streak to three games and sit at 7-1 overall.

“We came out sluggish and while we dominated possession, we didn’t do much with it. Kenzie Johnson was our bright spot with two goals.” said Coach Bryan Kehr.

Women’s soccer returns to the field Friday night at 5, hosting the Cougars of Barton Community College.

Women’s soccer blanks Broncbusters

The Hesston College women’s soccer team (6-1) continued their run of strong play by defeating host Garden City CC 2-0 on a brisk windy evening in southwestern Kansas.

The Larks didn’t take long to get on the board as sophomore Adele Hofer (Denver, Colo.) scored 45 seconds into the match off a long pass from sophomore Mika Matsuda (Kyoto, Japan). Hesston entered the match outscoring its opponents in impressive 34-3 in 6 matches. The Larks controlled the tempo and dictated scoring several opportunities throughout, miss firing on a few occasions.

Matsuda struck with minutes to go before the break as she blasted a shot from 25 yards out past a helpless Broncbuster goalkeeper to give the Larks a 2-0 lead at halftime. Hesston couldn’t find the third goal in the second half but held on for the shutout.

“We got the goal very early by Adele which set the tone for the game,” said Coach Bryan Kehr. “Garden City had a speedy couterattack which our defense was able to shut out. Kudos to defenders Payton Yehnert, Christy Kauffman, Lindsey Yoder, Rachel Brown and Abby Byler. Cassidy Bontrager was the shutout keeper and played a solid game in the net for the Larks.”

The Larks travel again on Tuesday as they take on Northwest Kansas Technical College (Goodland). Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. (M.D.T.).