Kansas State soccer completed their record-breaking 2022 season with a fast exit from the Large 12 match. Whereas solely a short look within the match, the ticket itself was a feat for this system.
“Making it there was simply step one,” sophomore ahead Riley Baker stated. “I believe we’re tremendous enthusiastic about the place we will go as a result of that’s only a step, and now we need to take extra steps and preserve getting higher.”
The season has been a push in the precise path for this system — tying its document for wins (6) and setting quite a few particular person data, most notably by junior goalkeeper Alaina Werremeyer and senior ahead Kyler Goins.
Although the crew says goodbye to lots of its seniors, younger expertise and the expansion of the crew going into the following season are vibrant spots for the longer term. Freshman defender Jazmin Brown was named to the Large 12’s all-freshman crew, sophomore defender Kenzi Gillispie performed a heavy position within the backline and Baker grew offensively.
There’s loads of turnover going into subsequent season, with extra gamers arriving within the offseason to fill potential holes.
“I believe it’s gonna be actually thrilling,” Gillispie stated. “Subsequent 12 months, now we have our entire backline returning. We now have Alaina at objective. We now have quite a lot of younger gamers that may fill these roles that the seniors left.”
Baker and Gillispie stand as two leaders going into subsequent season. Baker, labored into the offensive rotation, will play an expanded position going ahead. She contributed as an offensive participant however discovered her time restricted due to the intensive group of veterans on offense. On the again finish, Gillispie slot in as a stable position on the defensive facet, enjoying essentially the most minutes out of all beginning fielders on the crew. Each gamers are confirmed starters on the roster and can possible fill management roles heading into subsequent season.
“I really feel we undoubtedly resulted in a great place,” Gillispie stated. “I imply, that was our first time making the match.”
It’s necessary for good crew chemistry to develop coming into into a brand new season. Consistency and a clean transition with adjustments to the roster was a degree of emphasis for the crew.
“We’re good communicators, and we’ve already performed collectively. We’re not attempting to determine one another out,” Gillispie stated. “So I believe that’s going to have an enormous half in our success on the sphere.”
Not solely is a seamless growth with roster turnover useful to the crew’s success, however constructing relationships with the younger core helps create a bountiful crew atmosphere. Leaders from the crew this season helped elevate their teammates’ efficiency and focus, an impression that will probably be seen down the road.
Senior midfielder Bailey Nemechek guided a few of the youthful gamers.
“She [Nemechek] was considered one of our seniors this 12 months and he or she simply sort of took me below her wing and actually helped me develop not solely as an individual however as a participant too,” Baker stated. “She has helped me in all features of life and he or she’s develop into considered one of my closest buddies. I’m actually gonna miss her.”
Nemechek and the remainder of the seniors leaving the crew helped train the longer term leaders to comply with of their footsteps.
“I believe the legacy she [Nemechek] and all our different seniors left behind goes to maintain serving to us do larger and higher issues each single 12 months,” Baker stated. “We’ll be capable to step into extra management roles and assist the crew proceed to get higher as new gamers get in.”
As youthful gamers get acquainted with the system, leaders on the crew may help them develop into accustomed and comfy with the adjustment of school soccer.
“The velocity of play is much more intense. Every little thing’s simply amped up,” Gillispie stated. “So it’s lots totally different than membership soccer. It was only a lot sooner, much more bodily, much more demanding.”
Getting into into subsequent season, Okay-State soccer hopes to not solely return to the Large 12 match, however win it. With further gamers being added to the roster, it’s a time of maturation and pleasure for this system.