The Griffons said goodbye to their five seniors Friday night and made it a game the whole team will remember for a very long time.
Missouri Western hosted Missouri Southern Friday, Oct. 26, to close out the regular season and to hold their senior night. Prior to the game, the senior midfielders Ashlyn Castillo and Ashley Grunder, goalkeeper Kelly Voigts, forward Abby Widrig and defender Erin Widrig were honored as they played their last game of their career.
The teams would stay scoreless throughout regulation, sending it into overtime. Close to an hour and a half into the game, Abby knocked in the winning goal and ended the special night on a high note.
With a final record of 6-9-1 overall, it became a night — and season — for the Missouri Western record books.
“There’s a couple things that have never happened,” coach Chad Edwards said. “We’ve never lost less than 10 games, and we’ve never won our last game of the season, or scored in it. Tonight was a gift to them, they earned it.”
Just a couple weeks ago, Abby broke the most-career goals record (previously 11 set by Audrey Henderson). Her main goal before hanging up her cleats was to extend the record a little bit, “so the next person has something to reach for.” Her game-winning goal on senior night set it at 13, certainly something not easily reached.
Abby’s sister Erin, also a sports management major, started 59 of the 60 games she played in over her four years as a Griffon. She has over 5,000 minutes of play and collected two assists.
“Hard work does pay off,” Erin said. “ We hope we’ve given them the desire to keep working hard.”
Voigts, a transfer physical education major from Johnson County Community College, became the goalkeeper with the most wins in the history of the program with 10 wins, including five shutouts. In just two seasons, she racked up 218 saves and over 2,500 minutes of play.
“It’s unbelievable to go out like this,” Voigts said. “But at the same time, it’s really hard to be done with my career. Overall, it was an awesome night.”
Castillo, a biology major, has played all four years at Western. She’s started 67 of the 68 games she’s played in. Castillo made her first goal as a Griffon this year against William Jewell. She’s tied for second for most-career assists with five.
As a transfer from MIAA rival Washburn, Grunder had a lot to offer to the growing Griffon team. In her three seasons as a Griffon, Grunder played in 36 games and scored one goal out of three shots. Grunder is a nursing major.
“It feels awesome,” Grunder said. “Not many teams get to go out on a win and we did.”
Despite not securing a spot in the MIAA Tournament, the Griffons’ storybook-finish to the season ended the five seniors careers with a night full of hugs, tears and happiness.