A late afternoon thunderstorm delayed the start of the Kansas Wesleyan women’s soccer match against Tabor.
It did nothing to thwart the Coyotes’ inspired effort, though.
Two early goals by Marissa Morales (SR/La Puente, Calif.) and a suffocating defensive performance propelled KWU to a 2-0 Kansas Conference victory Wednesday at Graves Family Sports Complex.
The Coyotes improved to 4-4 overall and 1-1 in conference play while Tabor fell to 4-4-1 and 2-2.
“They played well,” KWU coach Henrik Sohn said. “They defended hard, they did exactly what we asked them to do. They won the first balls and challenged everything. I think we played really well defensively and had plenty of chances offensively. Really good performance all around today.”
How well did the Coyotes play defensively? Tabor had just two shots, neither on goal, for the match while KWU had 23 shots, 11 of them on target.
The game started two hours late because of the storm that also knocked out power at the stadium, on campus and parts of Salina. But it did nothing to douse the Coyotes.
Morales kickstarted things with a goal in the second minute on an assist from Yarellie Galindo (SR/Lynwood, Calif.) and she struck again 14 minutes later on a header, the assist to Sonja Lopez (SR/Los Angeles, Calif.). The Coyotes had numerous opportunities and several near misses after that.
Morales took three shots in the first half, all on goal, before departing early in the second half with a leg injury.
Tabor, meanwhile, was unable to mount any kind of attack against the Coyotes stonewall defense as KWU thoroughly dominated time of possession. Goalkeepers Daisy Bingham (SR/Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Allison Blumenthal (SO/Temecula, Calif.) didn’t have much to do, neither recording a save with no shots on goal directed at them.
“We knew they were going to come in and be very defensive, they were going to sit in deep and defend well and try to counter,” Sohn said of Tabor. “The only way you can beat a team like that is switch your point of attack and wait for a gap to open. Overall, I’m very pleased and the possession speaks for itself.”
Sohn said the delay wasn’t much of a factor.
“We just wanted to play,” he said. “It took us two hours longer to get going and that was okay. The ladies were professional today, it was a very mature and professional performance. We took care of business and that’s all you can ask for.”
The Coyotes travel to Sterling on Saturday for a conference match against the Warriors starting at 1 p.m. Sterling’s 0-9 overall and 0-3 in the KCAC. KWU is back at Graves Family Sports Complex on October 6 for a match against York starting at 5 p.m.