[caption id="attachment_12982" align="alignnone" width="240"] Widrig is a Senior this year and a player on the Missouri Western girls soccer team.[/caption] 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.
Missouri Western failed to keep up in their loss to Washburn on Oct. 5, but rebound nicely in their overtime win over Emporia State on Oct. 7. Washburn – 2 Missouri Western – 0 Women's soccer came out slow in the first half compared to Washburn. Nine minutes into the game, the Lady Blues put themselves on the board 1-0 over the Griffons. The ladies would mainly stay on defense for the remainder of the first half. The second half wasn't much of an improvement. Both teams' offenses gained a little momentum, but little was produced until late in the game. In the 85th minute, Washburn added to their lead, making it 2-0 to finish out regulation. Goalkeeper Kelly Voigts had seven saves on the night. Western had three of its four shots on goal, while Washburn put nine of its 18 on goal. “[Friday night] was a little bit of a struggle, to say the least,” coach Chad Edwards said. “We didn't come out very fast. We were a little sluggish to start off with. I think it was a combination of not being ready to go, but also having to find ourselves with new players playing at new positions, as well.” Missouri Western – 2 Emporia State – 1 The Griffons were ready to go against the Emporia State Hornets on Sunday. Abby Widrig put in a goal early off of a pass from fellow senior Ashlyn Castillo, helping Western gain an early 1-0 lead over the Hornets. Just prior to halftime, Emporia tied it up in the 37th minute with a goal of their own. The second half was a defensive battle, with neither team gaining an edge over the other. As regulation ended, the score remained 1-1, sending the game into overtime. Only 30 seconds into overtime, Widrig slammed a stunner from 40 yards out, ending the game at 2-1 in favor of Western. That goal was No. 11 of Widrig's career at Western, tying her with Audrey Henderson for most career goals. “Abby dribbled about 10 yards forward and just kicked the ball,” Edwards said. “I wouldn't call it a pass and I wouldn't call it a shot. It was literally in the air for about 10 seconds. It took a couple seconds until the referee signaled it, but we'll take them any way we can get them.” Western had five of their nine shots on goal. Voigts would rack up six saves for the day. The overtime win over Emporia boosted the Griffons to 2-5 in MIAA play and 4-7 on the season. The Griffons head to Fort Hays State on Thursday, Oct. 11, to take on the Tigers at 6 p.m.
[caption id="attachment_12323" align="alignnone" width="300"] Midfielder AJ Powers advances the ball toward Northeastern University's goal.[/caption] The Griffons welcomed MIAA newcomers Central Oklahoma Friday, Sept. 28 and Northeastern State on Sunday, Sept. 30 to Spratt Stadium. Coming off of a hard second overtime loss to rival Northwest Missouri State, the Griffons were anxious to step up their game against No. 18 Bronchos. Central Oklahoma -- 1 Missouri Western -- 0 Goalkeeper Kelly Voigts saved all six shots on goal from reaching the back of the net, helping Missouri Western hold its opponents scoreless in the first half. Midfielder AJ Powers had the Griffons' only shot on goal of the half. The Bronchos kept on coming in the second half, getting off 14 more shots. The game-winning goal came in the 67th minute from Central Oklahoma's Brittni Walker. Voigts would save four of the five shots on goal in the second half, giving her 10 saves for the game. Western would fall just shy of the upset over Central Oklahoma, losing 1-0. “We lacked stability and got ourselves into too big of a hurry,” coach Chad Edwards said. “We just didn't maintain possession enough. We were allowing them to have a lot more opportunities than they should have. Maintaining possession of the ball is the key from here on out.” Northeastern State -- 3 Missouri Western -- 1 The Griffons tried to get back into rhythm Sunday afternoon against Northeast State. With Voigts on the sideline due to a recent head injury, junior Rayelin Garcia would start for the first time for the Griffons. The first half was highly physical with neither team really gaining an edge on the other. Sophomores Emily Hoffman and Katie Kempf were both sidelined due to injuries during the game, Hoffman with a bleeding head and Kempf with a knee problem. In the 38th minute, Northeastern put the RiverHawks on the board off a penalty kick. They added another goal just as the whistle blew to end the half, making it a 2-0 game in favor of Northeastern. Western recovered quickly in the second half when freshman Sydney Andrews scored off a penalty kick in the 47th minute. But the RiverHawks would respond just minutes later with another goal. The score would remain the same until the end of regulation. Northeastern got nine of its 26 shots on goal, while Western managed to get two of its four on goal. Garcia collected six saves. The Griffons would lose to Northeastern 3-1, falling to 1-3 in MIAA play and 3-6 overall. “We could always improve,” Andrews said. “But I'm proud of us for sticking it out and keeping it together. It sucks that we lost, but we'll get back up there.” The Griffons will open their first of four straight road games at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 5 at Washburn.
[caption id="attachment_12137" align="alignleft" width="300"] Missouri Western seen here during a game at Northwest[/caption] Missouri Western suffer a heartbreaking loss in double overtime to rival Northwest Missouri State, 1-0. The Griffons hosted their conference rival, the Bearcats, for their first MIAA home game of the season on Friday, Sept. 21. Coming off of a win in overtime versus Lindenwood, the team was ready to to face its archrivals and duke it out for bragging rights. In the entirety of their program history, Western has only beaten Northwest once. Prior to the game, senior goalkeeper Kelly Voigts said this game was more than normal. “It is our time to change things and we are willing to do, whatever it takes," Voigts said. "I mean, you want to win every game, but this game has a little something extra.” Both teams fought relentlessly throughout the game to put themselves on the scoreboard, but neither of them could get the ball to the back of the net. At halftime and the end of regulation, neither team had managed to score. The teams would play over 100 minutes of scoreless soccer before Northwest's Elizabeth Walde shot from 12 yards out to end the game in double overtime. “This is a game we look forward to every year,” coach Chad Edwards said. “It's heartbreaking, for our seniors especially.” Western had 5 shots with 4 on goal, while the Northwest had 12 shots with 6 being on goal. Sophomore Katie Kempf managed to get off 2 shots of her own before an injury sidelined her for the remainder of the game. Voigts had 5 saves on the night. The Griffons come up short in the second overtime to Northwest, losing 1-0. They fall to 3-4 on the season and 1-2 in MIAA conference play. “This is our archrival. It's a tough loss; two even teams battling it out,” Edwards said. “We just made a major mistake in the back and it hurts. I think throughout the game, we were just struggling to find ourselves. At times we did, and when we did we were very successful but we have to play for 90 minutes and we just didn't do that. It's tough for all of us, we deserve this game just as much as they did. This one is going to sting for a while. But we'll learn from it and get better and come back next Friday ready to go.” The girls will face MIAA newcomer Central Oklahoma at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 28 at Spratt Stadium.