Despite dominating in time of possession and threats in opposing territory, the Larks struggled to put the ball on frame very often and failed to put one past the Tigers’ goalie. Sophomore midfielder Myu Kobayashi drew the occasional cheer with her fancy footwork and first-half shot on goal, but she and the Larks’ other strikers amassed just three shots on goal.
The final result may leave the impression that Hesston and Central were evenly matched, but Hesston’s play was clearly superior, thanks mostly to the play of their defense. Led by sophomores Rachel Miller and Carley Wyse,the Larks allowed just one shot on goal which goalkeeper Skylar Tripp dove to deflect. It was one of several sterling plays made by the sophomore goalie in the shutout effort.
With Central Christian’s offense locked away, it looked all game long like the Larks must surely score the winner, given their immense advantage in time of possession. The best opportunity by far came late in the game off a corner kick by Jessica Donnelly. The ball bounced off a Central defender and into open space in front of the goal, free for the taking. But none of Hesston’s many bodies in the area were able to reach it before it was cleared to safety. The Larks didn’t see a better opportunity to score following that close call.
The draw gives Hesston and Central Christian one point apiece to begin their respective seasons.
The Larks play Neosho County Community College on Wednesday at home, 5 p.m.