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The Hesston Record
347 B Old Hwy 81
Hesston, KS 67062
(620) 327-4831

This Week's Issue:August 25, 2016 August 25, 2016

 

Lark Women See Return Of Team Leaders

Posted 8/25/2016

By Rusty Whitcher

Coming off a record-shattering season, the Hesston College women’s soccer team has some holes to fill. Gone are the goals from single-season and career-leading scorer Mikaela Zook along with a core of defenders. Hesston finished the season last year with a school record 15 wins, falling in the playoffs to highly-ranked soccer powerhouse Butler Community College, 4-1.

With the departures, Head Coach Bryan Kehr is optimistic about his team.

“We actually have over half of the scoring coming back,” Kehr said. “We have 43 of 81 goals coming back. We have some good leaders.”

Allison Ebersole returns after scoring 19 goals as does Mika Matsuda who scored 15 goals. Matsuda finished second in the nation last season, tallying 27 assists.

“I’m pretty excited about our core group on defense and our midfield,” Kehr said. “We have some people who I think are going to score some goals. Soccer is a lot about touch and control of the ball and about moving without the ball. We have some work to do to be on the same page to see the runs to be made. We’ve been working hard.”

The Larks finished undefeated at home last season, a goal Kehr would like to duplicate.

“I’d love to be undefeated at home,” he said. “We have some difficult challenging home games this year. Ottawa University’s JV is our first home game, Allen County will be a handful.”

Kehr said this group is a fun group to be around and is looking forward to growing together on and off of the field. He believes this squad has a lot of potential to be competitive, a sentiment echoed by Ebersole.

“I think we have good potential to have a great season,” she said. “We just need to keep pushing ourselves. We need to work on attacking and making runs to get open and moving the ball more, and I feel like our defense is pretty solid.”

Hesston opens its season on Monday, Aug. 29 with Ottawa’s JV at 5 p.m. followed by a 7 p.m. match with Allen County Community College on Wednesday, Aug. 31. From there, the Larks slide down to Texas for two matches over Labor Day weekend.

This year, the playoff format is different for Region VI soccer. Instead of playing a two match series with Northwest Kansas Technical College, the Region is divided into and East and West format. After playing each team twice in the respective divisions, the top four from each side will play off in an eight-team format. Along with the Larks, the West is made up of Hutchinson Community College, Barton Community College, Dodge City Community College, Garden City Community College, Pratt Community College, and Northwest Kansas Tech.

“I encourage people to come out and see a game,” Kehr said.

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Fresh Faces Hope For Success On Men's Lark Soccer Pitch

Posted 8/25/2016

By Rusty Whitcher

It’s only fitting the 2016 Hesston College men’s soccer team’s motto is “iron sharpens iron.”

The Larks are coming off one of their best seasons in recent memories, a 7-13 campaign, entering into a new scheduling format with a new coach at the helm for 2016.

It’s only fitting the 2016 Hesston College men’s soccer team’s motto is “iron sharpens iron.”

The Larks are coming off one of their best seasons in recent memories, a 7-13 campaign, entering into a new scheduling format with a new coach at the helm for 2016.

Matthew Gerlach takes over for Michael Armstrong as the head man for the Larks. Gerlach has been coaching at both the high school and college level, after being a four-year starter at NAIA Huntington University. With the change in coaching for HC, comes a change as Gerlach puts his own personal stamp on the program.

“I am setting some new standards that will hopefully elevate the program to a higher level,” Gerlach said. “We’re demanding some new things, and hopefully exceling at a place and we can continue to build on the forward momentum that Michael had established.”

Gerlach wants his team to be flexible and versatile, a team which doesn’t just play one particular style on the pitch.

“Our style will be based on our players and their abilities, what they are talented in and howt that looks together as the most cohesive unit,” Gerlach said. “Our best 11 may be set up in a certain formation but that doesn’t equate to our best formation for our 22 players. We’re going play hard and work hard and attack well with fun speed.”

Guershon Safari, returns to lead the Lark offense. Safari led the Larks in goals scored last season. 

“There’s not a big drop off from our number one to our number 22,” Gerlach said. “Our nine through 19 are going to be competing to start.”

To be competitive in the ultra-difficult Region VI, the Larks must continue to make the tweaks so the team can advance from a good team to a great team. Gerlach said the Larks continued to give up goals in the same way last season, so they will be addressing this issue as the season progresses.

“The Region is hard,” Gerlach said. “I want to establish ourselves as a team that each team has to come in and compete where they say ‘Oh shoot, we have to go play Hesston today,” that’s where I want to be.”

The Larks open their season on Saturday, Aug. 27 with a road trip to Wentworth Military Academy. Hesston opens its home portion of the season at 7 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 29 when hosting Ottawa University’s junior varsity. The Larks follow up with a 5 p.m. match versus Allen County Community College on Wednesday, Aug. 31.

“Michael did a great job of setting the standard so high, we just want to continue to build on it,” Gerlach said. Gerlach also recommends following the Larks on Twitter @HesstonMSoccer.

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