It wasn’t the start he expected or the resulted he wanted.
But Kansas Wesleyan women’s soccer coach Henrik Sohn was far from distraught following the Coyotes’ 4-1 loss to Science and Arts Oklahoma in their season opening match Tuesday night at Graves Family Sports Complex.
Victimized by a couple of crucial mistakes the Coyotes trailed 3-0 at the break. The second half was much more to Sohn’s liking, though.
“We made a couple of bad mistakes in the first half and they got punished,” he said. “That’s the way the game works. Then in the second half we definitely improved.”
Four of the match’s five goals came at the north end of the pitch, aided a stiff south wind.
Outshot 9-5 the first half KWU had 11 shots to the Drovers’ five and misfired on several scoring opportunities the final 45 minutes.
The Coyotes finally broke through in the 63rd minute on Lissette Garcia (SR/Bakersfield, Calif.)’s goal, the assist to Ashley Quintanilla (SR/Bakersfield, Calif.), that made it 3-1. USAO scored in the 87th minute on Emma Rice’s second goal.
“We changed formations and had plenty of opportunities,” Sohn said of the second half. “If those go in it’s a different game, but that’s the game of soccer. It is what it is. A lot to learn, it’s our first game, that’s what nonconference is for. We’ll move on, we’ll be better against Baker (on Sunday).”
Sohn said he challenged his team at halftime.
“I told them it’s totally up to you guys at this point,” he said. “You can go out there and just stand back and take the beating or we can go fight back. And we fought back 100 percent. Anyone who saw that game knows we fought back. I’m very pleased with their reaction.”
Sohn even saw some positives the first 45 minutes.
“I don’t think the first half was terrible; we’ve just got to eliminate the mistakes, that’s what it comes down to,” he said. “We made too many individual mistakes.”
USAO scored in the fifth minute on Rice’s goal after a bad clearance. The Drovers made it 2-0 on Lizzy Kemp’s direct kick from 25 yards in the 22nd minute and went up 3-0 in the 41st minutes on Alicia Rey’s shot from 16 yards out that hit the far post and bounced in.
Allison Blumenthal (SO/Temecula, Calif.) had five saves the first half for KWU; Daisy Bingham (SR/Huntington Beach, Calif.) replaced her in the second half and had one save. USAO keeper Moa Zakrisson finished with four saves.
The Coyotes play Baker at 5 p.m. in Baldwin City then return home for a match against Doane at 5 p.m. September 4 at Graves Family Sports Complex.