Hesston pulls away late to earn first win

The Hesston College men’s soccer team used two second-half goals in the last ten minutes of the match to put away Central Christian JV (McPherson, Kan.) 3-1, earning the Larks their first win of the young season.

Early in the first half, sophomore midfielder Alex Steiner (Kidron, Ohio) put Hesston on the board when he converted on a breakaway opportunity and snuck a shot under the Central keeper. Minutes later, Steiner nearly scored again but wasn’t able to convert.

Hesston maintained a 1-0 advantage into the break, but the visitors tied things up at one goal apiece 15 minutes into the second half.

With time winding down, the Larks kept the pressure up and eventually forward Paul Schrag (Hesston, Kan.) found the back of the net to put Hesston back in front. Schrag wasted little time finding the net again, as he made good on an assist from freshman Brad Knispel (Sarasota, Fla.) with under five minutes to play to give the home team a 3-1 lead. Knispel assisted on each of Hesston’s three goals.

“I felt the guys did a good job and battled hard most of the night,” said Coach Kurt Hostetler. “There were several moments that I think we lost our focus, but were able to regain our composure and net a few more. I felt like we created a lot of good scoring opportunities but weren’t able to capitalize on more of them. This was a good win for us, Central Christian played a tough match. It’s good to get the first win under our belts.” On the night, Hesston outshot Central 10-6. Larks freshman keeper Reid O’Brien (Hays, Kan.) saved five of six shots to earn his first collegiate win in the net.

The home win moves the Larks to 1-2 on the season, as they host Bethany JV on Tuesday, September 8, for a 7:30 pm matchup.