Lions trying to stay alive

Jeff Pinnell

Saturday will be an emotional day for the students and soccer fans at Missouri Southern.

The Lions plan to retire the jersey of Jon Hansen, the former Southern all-conference goalkeeper, before Saturday night’s game with Missouri Western State. Hansen passed away in February when he collapsed during a pickup game of basketball in Young Gym.

“There will be a sign that will become a permanent part of Hal Boden Field in his memory” said Women’s Head Soccer Coach Trevor Wachsman. “It’s a reflection of how close to us he was, and we’re going to continue to honor him.”

Hansen’s brother, Jeff, was a former player and assistant coach at MSSU. Jeff is currently the head women’s soccer coach at Missouri Western State University and will be attending the ceremony before the game kicks off with Southern.

The Griffons, who are coming off their first conference victory over Truman, will be quite a test for the Lions.

“They are a well coached team and we’ll have to be at our best,” Wachsman said. “Every game is a battle.”

Southern has had a rough start to conference play dropping its last two games 1-0 to Northwest Missouri State, and 2-0 against Nebraska-Omaha. The losses bring Southern’s record to 2-6.

“I think we’re playing great soccer, but we can’t seem to catch a break.” Wachsman said. “The girls are getting better each game, if they fight and play hard until the whistle something will turn in our favor.”

Southern still has a chance at a successful season, but a tournament berth may be a little out of reach with a winless conference record so far.

“We’ll have to make a significant run to make any noise in the conference,” Wachsman said. “I still feel we have the potential to beat anybody on any given day.”

Game time for tomorrow night is 7 p.m. There is a strong possibility the game will be played at Hughes Stadium because of the recent weather.