January 29, 2023

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Soccer season-in-review: Toppling prime groups and convention champions

Head coach Chris Klieman hoists the Large 12 Champion trophy after defeating TCU in extra time 31-28 on Dec. 3. (Archive photograph by Macey Franko | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State triumphantly completed the 2022-23 soccer season with a Large 12 championship win and Sugar Bowl look.

Although the loss to Alabama was robust, it was a reminder of how spectacular the season has been. 

The thought that Okay-State would play amongst the perfect in school soccer was not a thought of chance early on. Preseason polling projected the Wildcats to position fifth within the Large 12, regardless of having a league-high of six gamers named to the all Preseason All-Large 12 Workforce. 

Within the offseason, Okay-State sought out veteran quarterback Adrian Martinez. Martinez performed for Nebraska for 4 seasons earlier than his switch. As a Cornhusker, Martinez recorded first rate numbers, with 3,388 yards from scrimmage and 27 whole touchdowns in his closing season.

Martinez made his debut and introduced an edge to the Okay-State speeding assault. Notably, his efficiency towards Oklahoma at Norman confirmed how particular each Martinez and the staff could possibly be when the lights are brightest.

The most important problem for Martinez throughout his profession at Nebraska was turnovers. He was in a position to restrict this as a Wildcat, although his accidents endured all through the season, permitting backup quarterback Will Howard to step in and take management of the offense. 

From his begin towards TCU, Howard introduced steadiness to the Okay-State offense together with his passing assault, recording two passing and one speeding landing to at least one interception in his first displaying.

Howard put up profession numbers in solely seven video games, posting a career-high 1,633 passing yards and 15 touchdowns to solely 4 interceptions for a formidable passer score of 149.6. 

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A lot of Howard and Martinez’s success got here from offensive coordinator Collin Klien. In his first yr, Okay-State averaged 32.3 factors per recreation and completed with the second most speeding yards per recreation within the Large 12.

Okay-State was final within the Large 12 in passing yards per recreation at 210.5, however rose to 272 yards per recreation by the air after Howard got here in.

Defensively, Okay-State was close to the highest of the league with the fourth finest whole protection within the Large 12, with star defensive gamers like Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Jaylen Pickle and Kobe Savage main the defensive unit.

Wanting forward, Okay-State may have a younger roster going into subsequent season with new gamers gaining bigger roles as star gamers Deuce Vaughn and Felix Anudike-Uzomah shall be leaving for the 2023 NFL draft. The recruiting class for Okay-State is trying optimistic for the 2023-24 season.

4-star athletes Avery Johnson, Asa Newsom and Jordan Allen make up the present roster of Okay-State commits and look to contribute early of their careers. 

The switch portal introduced in just a few gamers together with working again Treshaun Ward from Florida State and vast receiver Keagan Johnson from Iowa.

Although many skilled gamers will depart, new recruits and transfers deliver potential to proceed Okay-State’s success. With the departure of each Oklahoma and Texas in 2024, the window is open for packages like TCU and Okay-State.