Haist pushes Lions to consecutive victories


John Davidson | The Chart

Junior defender Michaela Altvater leapt over a player to make a play on the ball during the Lions 2-1 loss to Northwest Missouri at Hal Boden Field on Oct. 5 2014. Southern had 12 shots but could only manage the single goal in the eventual loss. The Lions record is now 5-7-2.

The Lions soccer team is definitely not in Kansas anymore after they took the state by storm last weekend, winning two potentially season-saving games by defeating Washburn on Oct. 17 and Emporia State on Oct. 19.

The Lions entered the weekend on a five-game winless streak and had a total of only three victories on the season.

The much-needed wins push the Lions into a three-way tie for No. 7  in the conference standings with only four games remaining in the season, the next three of which are at home.

“The team worked hard the past three games, fighting for each outcome,” said assistant coach Chris Leshinski. “We didn’t play our best, but we kept fighting and we won both games this weekend.”

“They were tough teams but the team came together, communicated, and worked well to come away with two big wins,” said junior defender Kacie Hulse. “It’s always a nice bus drive back with two wins.”

Both matches ended in a score of 1-0 as the Lions were forced to start two freshmen at goalkeeper due to the injury of senior starter Beth Hammons.

Hanna Johnson started against Washburn and Bryar Wiley against Emporia State.

“It feels great to be on the other side,” said freshman forward Hannah Bomar. “We worked really hard this past weekend to do well, and it finally pulled through for us.”

The lone goal in each of the two matches came from senior midfielder Kelsey Haist, who netted a game-winning goal in overtime to beat the Ichabods, followed by a penalty kick that found its way in to the goal to defeat the Hornets.

“Scoring was a great feeling,” said Haist. “It could have been any other person on the team, though, and I would have been just as excited. The last couple games it has felt like we have fought so hard the entire game, but the end result hasn’t really proved that, so being able to find the back of the net as a team during a crucial moment was huge for us. We feel like this could be the moment where we have finally got the monkey off our back, so to speak.”    

The Lions return to the pitch tomorrow to battle the RiverHawks of Northeastern State as they continue their fight to make the playoffs. The game starts at 1 p.m.

“There’s still a lot of soccer to be played,” said Leshinski. “We should have a clearer picture for the playoffs after next Saturday when we play NSU.”