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Kennedy's two goals push Washburn soccer past Lopers, 2-1

 By RICK PETERSON

TopSports.news

Former Washburn Rural star Belle Kennedy scored a pair of goals Sunday at Yager Stadium as Washburn University soccer improved to 5-0-1 on the season with a 2-1 MIAA victory over Nebraska-Kearney.

Kennedy, the Class 6A midfielder of the year in 2021 and 2022, scored the first two goals of the game to put the Ichabods up 2-0 before the Lopers (0-5-1) got on the scoreboard late.

IMG 1551Washburn freshman Belle Kennedy scored a pair of goals in the Ichabods' 2-1 win over Nebraska-Kearney on Sunday at Yager Stadium. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

Washburn remains unbeaten through six games for the first time since 2006.

After a slow start offensively for both teams, the Ichabods increased their offensive tempo in the final 20 minutes of the first half, recording seven total shots in the first 45 minutes.

In the 27th minute, Riley Wells maneuvered down the right sideline before delivering a ball to Kennedy in the middle of the field, which was deposited in the top right corner of the net for the first goal.  

The Lopers continued to be stalled by Washburn's defense through the first 45 minutes, attempting only two shots in that span.

The Ichabods' defensive effort was led by Emily Michaelis, Carlee Thompson and Taylor Bockover, who each played all 90 minutes for a second consecutive game.  

Kennedy's second goal came late in the 77th minute on a ball that ricochet off a defender in the middle of the box which she sent high to the left side of the net for her second goal of the day.

Less than 30 seconds later Nebraska-Kearney was fouled just outside the box and scored on the ensuing free kick. Kea Barnes netted the goal, the first of the season for the Lopers.  

That would be the final shot of the match for Nebraska-Kearney. Raegan Wells recorded one save in the game with only two total shots taken on goal thanks to the stout defense and slow offensive pace of the Lopers.  

Washburn took 19 shots in the game, the second most they have taken this season.

Ten of them were taken on goal, also the second most.

Khloe Schuckman had the most shots of any Ichabod with six, three coming on goal. Haley Rogers took five shots with three on goal, and all three of Kennedy's attempts were on target.  

On the other side, the other two shots by Nebraska-Kearney were taken by Emma Middleton. Mackenzie Smith played all 90 minutes in goal for the Lopers, recording eight saves on the 19 total shots faced.  

Kennedy's two goals on Sunday marked her second two-goal game of her freshman season.

Riley Wells notched her first assist of the season, tying her total from 2021.

Washburn will be on the road for the next four games, beginning Friday, Sept. 16 against Fort Hays State at 6 p.m.