On Oct. 7, Missouri Western was taking on Emporia State. The game opened up almost immediately with a goal from senior forward Abby Widrig, who is now the Griffons’ all-time career leader in goals with 12.
The Hornets made it an even game just before halftime, and the score would remain tied until the end of regulation. Barely 30 seconds into overtime, Widrig blasted a beautiful shot from 40 yards out, ending the game 2-1 in the Griffons’ favor. That dramatic goal was Widrig’s 11 career goal at Missouri Western, which tied her with former Griffon forward Audrey Henderson for most career goals.
“Abby dribbled about 10 yards forward and just kicked the ball,” said coach Chad Edwards. “I wouldn’t call it a pass and I wouldn’t call it a shot.”
But Widrig wasn’t going to be satisfied with just tying the record. Just a few days later in their game at Fort Hays State, Widrig scored another goal off of an assist from AJ Powers. Her goal would give the Griffons the momentum they needed to get the 2-2 tie with the Tigers. Just like that, the record was broken.
Widrig, who wears No. 4 for Western, has been playing soccer since she was 4 years old. Once this season ends, she will have been playing for 18 years. She decided on being a Griffon because it’s location had that nice, “far from home, but not too far” distance from her hometown of Wichita, Kan. Plus, she knew a few of her teammates already.
“I knew former player Mary Ohm,” Widrig said. “I knew Ashlyn Castillo; we have been playing with or against each other since second grade. Sydney Andrews and I played one year of high school with each other and I played two years against Katie Kempf.”
Four years ago, Widrig didn’t see herself breaking any records, but the most career goals record isn’t her only one. She’s tied with Ashley Juravich for most game-winning goals at four a piece and has the most points with 28 due to her 12 goals (at two points a piece) and 4 assists (one point).
“Honestly, [breaking the record] wasn’t on my to-do list,” Widrig said. “Just scoring is enough. Breaking a record is just icing on the cake.”
Widrig was immediately more excited over the fact that the team was able to tie the game so quickly with her goal than with the record she broke. But she’s remaining considerably humble for now — no celebrating just yet. Widrig wants to concentrate on setting the record just a little higher in their remaining games and improving the team’s overall record, which currently sits at 4-8-1 and 2-6-1 in the MIAA after Saturday’s double overtime loss to Nebraska-Kearney. Her twin sister Erin, a senior defender for the Griffons, agrees with her. They both want the record to be set just a little higher so the next person has something to reach for.
The Griffons return to action at 7 p.m. on Oct. 19, Friday’s “Pink Week” game against Central Missouri in Spratt Stadium.