Women’s Soccer News Archive 2017-2018

Larks honor sophomores after falling to Dodge City 4-2

Saturday night Hesston College women’s soccer took a tough loss, falling to Dodge City Community College 4-2. Down 1-0 at halftime, the Larks saw Dodge City score three more goals to take a 4-0 lead midway through the second half. The Larks did not give up. They clawed back into the game with Miya Gonda racing through the backline and slotting the ball home in the 73rd minute. In the 80th minute Hesston got another goal, this time some good passing by Gonda and Payton Yehnert opened the door for Connor Atkinson’s finish. Unfortunately this would be it for the Larks as they would come up short 4-2.

After the game the team honored sophomore players whose efforts on and of the field have shaped the program over the past two seasons. These nine players have compiled a record of 20-13 and been leaders on the field and around the Hesston College community. Standing with their parents, friends, mentors, professors, faculty and staff were Connor Atkinson, Paige Baucom, Jenna Boller, Kenzie Johnson, Dakoda Lee, Miho Okuda, Alicia Ramirez, Payton Yehnert and Lindsey Yoder.

The sophomores noted trips the team took to Texas and Colorado, comeback wins, hosting a playoff game and the fun they have had with the coaches and each other as the highlights of their soccer careers at Hesston. This group will finish with several players on the career scoring list – Okuda is currently 5th and Kenzie 6th while Okuda sits in 2nd with career assists. Team defense is also only one shutout away from setting a single season record for shutouts. They should also finish the year with several NJCAA Academic All-Americans.

The coaching staff, faculty and staff thank these sophomores for their contributions to the Larks soccer program and Hesston College.

Larks beat Pratt in overtime

Hesston College women’s soccer traveled to Pratt Community College for a rematch of the home contest that saw that saw the Larks score twice in the last three minutes two win 2-0. This game was no different, with the Larks winning 2-1 in dramatic fashion.

After a back and forth first half, the Beavers of Pratt took the lead in the 26th minute. But just two minutes later Miho Okuda picked up a 50/50 ball on the right side 35 yards from goal. She put the ball on frame and it bounced over the keeper’s head to tie up the game. The second half was all Larks creating twice the number of chances but they were unable to find the back of the net.

Overtime ensued. Again, the Larks were on the front foot. They earned a corner kick off of hard work from the front line. Miho Okuda swung in a ball to the back post finding Kenzie Johnson making the run. Kenzie nodded home the game winner and the Larks were victorious, winning again in the dying seconds.

“It was a good win, we were not at full strength today,” said Head Coach Bryan Kehr. Vivi Rodriguez went the distance for the Larks in goal, tallying two saves.

The Larks will next host Dodge City Community College at 7 p.m. under the lights on Saturday, October 7.

Larks prevail 3-0 at homecoming

It was a hot homecoming afternoon as the Larks women’s soccer team took the field against Oklahoma Wesleyan reserves. The Larks got off to a fast start and did not look back, winning 3-0. It took Hesston College just four minutes to get onto the score sheet. Alicia Ramirez jumped on a mistake from the outside back and took the ball into the box and was fouled. Miho Okuda stepped up to take the penalty and was able to power it through for the Larks first of the day.

The second goal was a wonder-strike from Taylar Clark in the 33rd minute. She took the ball on the left side, turned and hit a rocket from 30 yards to beat the keeper high on the near side.

Just six minutes later, Faith Manickam got her first goal of the year and the Larks put the game away for good. After a Hesston corner kick was cleared, the ball came back into the box from Marianna Martinez to Jenna Boller, she turned and played the ball to Faith who finished in traffic right in front of the goal. “Taylar’s strike was a beautiful goal,” said Head Coach Bryan Kehr, “and it was good to see Faith get on the scoreboard.”

The win takes Hesston’s record to 7-4. “The team came out with a good intensity. Our passing and possession was improved,” said Kehr.

The Larks face Northwest Kansas Tech at home on Tuesday evening at 5 p.m. and then host Hutchinson Community College on Saturday night at 7 p.m.

Photo release – Special Olympics coaching clinics on campus Sept. 9

Hesston College played host to Special Olympics coaching clinics for basketball and soccer led by Andrew Stauffer, volunteer certified Special Olympics basketball and soccer coach, Saturday, Sept. 9. Stauffer made classroom presentations on philosophy, theory and practice drills for basketball and soccer, then worked with Larks men’s basketball players and women’s soccer players to demonstrate drills and modifications. More than 40 coaches from south central Kansas attended the clinics which were open to all Kansas coaches. All Special Olympics coaches must attend a face-to-face clinic in order to be certified. Hesston College photos by Larry Bartel

Hesston College men's basketball players demonstrate drills at a clinic for prospective Special Olympics coaches.
Hesston College men’s basketball players demonstrate drills at a clinic for prospective Special Olympics coaches.

Larks blank Pratt 2-0

The Larks scored the winning goal with just three minutes to go in regulation in Saturday’s home match with Pratt. They added another one minute later to win 2-0 and take their Region VI record to 1-1.

The Larks were in control most of the game as they outshot Pratt 7-2 and had 12 corners to one for the Beavers. Pratt has a new coach and has the team well disciplined and so it took the Larks almost the entire game to find the breakthrough. It came in the 87th minute from Miho Okuda as she scored her fourth goal of the season off a simple short corner from Taylar Clark. “Quick thinking by Taylar and Miho to run a short corner lead to the game winning goal,” said Head Coach Bryan Kehr. “It was a competitive game.”

With the away team devastated, Kenzie Johnson pounced on a through pass from Kenzie Brown just a minute later to ensure the win for the Larks. With the win, the Larks move to 5-1 on the season and 1-1 in Region VI play. “It was good to see the Kenzie’s, (Brown and Johnson) combine late with a goal simply created by hustle,” Kehr added.

Goalkeepers Miranda Dolsman and Vivi Rodriguez again split halves and shared their fourth clean sheet of the season having a combined two saves.

The Larks will be on the road Wednesday at Dodge City Community College and back home on Saturday at 5 p.m. against Garden City Community College.

Larks 1-1 in week of tough road matches

The Larks were on the road twice this week to face NJCAA opponents at Neosho County Community College (Chanute, Kan.) and Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College. Saturday’s game at Neosho was a back and forth affair with both teams having their spell of possession. The first half saw Neosho get seven shots on goal with Vivi Rodriguez up to the task, saving all seven. Conversely Hesston College only was able to squeak out two shots but the breakthrough came for the Larks in the 18th minute. Paige Baucom jumped on a loose ball and finished giving the Larks a 1-0 lead which they took into halftime.

The Larks controlled the second half but the game was not put away until late. With 10 minutes left, Dakoda Lee found herself on the end of a great pass from Kenzie Johnson and finished, putting the Larks up 2-0. A third came from Connor Atkinson just three minutes later. The game finished 3-0 in Hesston College’s favor.

Wednesday night the Larks traveled to face Region VI perennial powerhouse Hutchinson Blue Dragons which opened up their NJCAA Region VI campaign. Scoring twice in each half, Hutchinson was able to take advantage of several Larks mistakes and put away the game. The Hesston goalkeepers combined for 16 saves.

The Larks will get their second test in Region VI on Saturday at home. The Pratt Community College Beavers will be at Hesston College for a 5 p.m. kickoff.

Larks post 4-0 win in Hillsboro

On the road for the second time in their short season, the Larks picked up another win beating Tabor College reserves 4-0.

It took just three minutes for the Larks to get on the board when Miya Gonda scored off a pass from Kenzie Johnson. It took just four more minutes for Miho Okuda to double the lead off of a ball from Taylar Clark.

“For the first time we began the game with intensity instead of responding to the other teams play,” exclaimed Head Coach Bryan Kehr.

Conner Atkinson added a goal with nine minutes to go before halftime. The fourth would come from Miya Gonda (assist Miho Okuda) with just one minute remaining in the game. Coach Kehr added, “We scored quality goals, including scoring on a designed set piece we have been working on in practice.”

The Larks continue to build off of their record setting 2016 campaign with a 3-0 start and will travel to Neosho County Community College on Saturday, September 2, for a 5 p.m. kickoff.

New season, same winning ways for Larks women’s soccer

Friday – Larks 3, Ottawa University reserves 2

Coming off their best season in school history, the Larks women’s soccer team picked up right where they left off. Starting their season with a weekend double header, Friday’s game was at Ottawa University reserves. In what was a close contest, the Braves struck first with a goal in the 32nd minute. Ottawa scored again just five minutes before halftime giving the Braves a 2-0 lead. But just before the break, Miya Gonda got one back for the Larks and the score was 2-1 at halftime. 

It only took three minutes into the second half for the Larks to equalize with Kassandra Ayala finding the back of the net. Then just another for minutes, a Taylar Clark pass found Kenzie Johnson who buried the game winner. The Larks were able to see out the game for a 3-2 victory.

Sunday – Larks 8, Southwestern Adventist University 0

The Sunday game proved much smoother sailing for the Larks. Matching up at home against Southwestern Adventist University and only took 19 minutes to get rolling. Miya Gonda scored and then found the net again in the 27th minute. Three more goals in the first half were added to three more in the second half to give the Larks a convincing 8-0 route of the Knights. The other goals were scored by Jenna Boller (2), Miho Okuda (2), Kassandra Ayala and Paige Baucom with assists from Miho Okuda (2), Paige Baucom, Brielle Baucom (2), and Connor Atkinson. 

Reflecting on both games, Head Coach Bryan Kehr says “Our best soccer of the year so far was the second half of the Ottawa match. We are working hard and improving. It is good to see goals coming from a variety of players.”

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.