MANHATTAN, Kansas (Kansas State Athletics) – K-State went on top in the first half, but Kansas answered in the second half to send the Dillons Sunflower Showdown to a 1-1 draw on Friday night in the 2022 home finale at Buser Family Park. K-State’s record stands at 6-8-3 and 2-4-2 in Big 12 action, while Kansas is 8-8-2 and 1-5-2.
HOW IT HAPPENED
– K-State jumped in front in the 22nd minute with the aid of a Jayhawk misplay. Senior Kyler Goins gathered possession on the right side of the Kansas 18-yard box. Goins crossed a ball to the top of the six-yard box with her left foot and found senior Caylee Thornhill.
– Thornhill leaped for her attack and clipped the ball with her right foot toward the Jayhawk net. As the ball rolled toward Kansas goalkeeper Hayven Harrison, a Jayhawk defender ran in front of Harrison causing her to miss the ball under her outstretched right arm.
– After coming up empty on her first 40 shots of the season, Thornhill has now scored on two of her last three shot attempts. The product of Lenexa, Kansas, has scored two goals this season and four in her career.
– Kansas squared the match in the 51st minute. Lia Beyer attempted a shot from 16 yards and nudged her shot off the right post and into the net for her first goal of the season.
– The Jayhawks held a 21-5 advantage in total shots and a 7-2 lead in shots on goal. Kansas also notched an 11-1 lead in corner kicks.
– K-State is 8-44-5 all-time against teams from the Big 12 Conference.
– The Wildcats are 2-3-2 all-time against Kansas, including a 0-3-1 mark in matches played in Manhattan.
– Kansas State is 18-33-5 in matches played at Buser Family Park.
– Thornhill is tied for seventh in school history for career goals with four.
– Thornhill ranks eighth in school history for career points with 13.
– Goins tallied her second assist of the season, setting a new career season-high in the category. This was her third assist at K-State and moves her into a tie for ninth in school history for career assists.
– With the point, Goins moved into second in school history for career points with 23.
– Goins made her 46th career start on Friday and remains in seventh in school history for career starts.
– Junior goalkeeper Alaina Werremeyer ended the night with six saves. This was her 20th career match with five or more saves and seventh this season.
– Senior Bailey Nemechek played in her 65th career game on Friday, moving into fourth on the K-State career games played list.
– Nemechek started her 53rd career match and moved into a tied for third in school history for career starts with Maddie Souder (2017-20; 53).
FROM THE HEAD COACH
K-State Head Coach Mike Dibbini
“This wasn’t our best performance. Once we got that first goal, we kind of got into protect the lead mode instead of keeping that form going. And when you do that you give the other team a lot more opportunities and we have to figure that out. I think had we not got on our back foot and stayed on our front foot things would have been different for us. We finally got back on our front foot when they scored that goal and created more chances. It’s a young team that’s trying to figure those things out. And you can see that was a big part of what we’re trying to psychologically get better at and the mentality part of not just protecting leads, but can you get on your front foot a little bit more and can you score another goal and put the game away and find more separation against a team like this.”
On the rivalry…
“It’s a great rivalry and it’s going to be physical. I thought our girls responded well. It went back and forth. Moments for them and moments for us. It wasn’t the prettiest game for us but we got the point and we’ve just got to take it forward.”
On Caylee Thornhill…
“She’s been spectacular in big games, scoring game winners and tonight she had the tying goal. She’s been great and we’re definitely going to miss her abilities and her work rate. She’s responded well from her first year of injuries so we’re excited that she could possibly continue to play. We’ll see if we can try to convince her to stay another year.”
FROM THE FIELD
K-State Senior Forward Caylee Thornhill
On her goal…
“We talked about it before the game we’ll find success kind of being on the front foot in the 18-yard box, whether that is on our half or on their half. So just trying to get in there and be aggressive. I saw the ball come across and it wasn’t the prettiest shot but a goal is a goal and it got in the back of the net somehow. I think just trying to get any tap on it and any kind of chance in is better than just letting the ball go across the next and wishing you had that back.”
On the mindset after the draw…
“We obviously wanted the three points going into next weekend. But I think any point is a good point. One point is better than no points. It’s not unfinished but it’s kind of like ‘Oh, 90 minutes and no one got the win.’ But it’s not a loss but it still helps our record regardless.”
On the physicality…
“Yeah I think just trying to take that outside noise and stay focused throughout the game. It can get hard to let those emotions get the best of you but just trying to get up and shake off all those hard tackles and keep trying to push through. You’ll always want a call back maybe if you didn’t get it but just shaking it off and focusing on the next play and trying to make something happen in the next play regardless of the outside noise.”
K-State completes its 2022 Big 12 schedule on Thursday, October 27, as the Wildcats travbel to Morgantown, West Virginia for a 6 p.m. (CT) match against West Virginia. Thursday’s match will air on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.