ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
The Tabor College women’s soccer team opened its Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference schedule with a 2-1 loss to Bethel College Thursday on Wiebe Field.
Coach Herb Wiebe said the loss could have devastating consequences in the Bluejays’ quest for a post-season playoff spot.
“This was a must-win game for us to have a legitimate shot at a conference playoff spot,” Wiebe said. “We did not respond to the challenge.”
Tabor’s chances looked good early, when Clancey Kelley pressured the Thresher keeper and scored off a turnover at the 27:10 mark of the opening half.
A stellar job of goal-keeping by Tabor’s Rachel Kostner held the Threshers to one goal at halftime.
But a Bethel goal in the second half was sufficient for the win.
“We had our chances and hit the crossbar a couple of times and missed on other opportunities,” Wiebe said. “But overall, it was just a poor effort mentally. We showed signs of good soccer, but the work rate was not there.”
Injuries continue to hamper the Bluejays. Wiebe said 11 of the 16 women suiting up for the contest required some type of treatment before the game.
Sarah Lopez, starting keeper, is lost for the season with a knee injury, but Wiebe said injuries aren’t an excuse for poor play.
“The bottom line is we did not compete as a team,” he said. “A few players played well, but for us to have a chance, everyone has to make a contribution. That is not happening right now.”
With the loss, Tabor falls to 0-1 in the KCAC 0-6 overall.
Tabor men-The Bluejay men also lost Thursday to Bethel College, but by a score of 4-1.
Coach Herb Wiebe said his team is in dire need of a victory.
“The osing is taking a toll on our confidence as a team, especially with our young players,” he said. “We played tentatively and reacted to the play around us rather than work to dictate the play.”
Tabor’s only bright spot came near the end of the first half.
Already trailing 2-0 with two minutes remaining, Chris Adrian played a ball out to Travis Buckley, who crossed the ball in front of the Bethel goal to Bryan Unruh. Unruh scored on a header at the 1:20 mark to cut Bethel’s advantage to 2-1 at halftime. Two second-half Bethel goals secured the win.
With the loss, Tabor is 0-1 in the KCAC and 0-6 for the season.
Coming-Tabor was to play host to Southwestern College on Tuesday (Sept. 27) and will welcome Sterling College to Wiebe Field on Thursday. The women’s game is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. and the men’s at 5 p.m.