MANHATTAN, Kan., – It may have only been an exhibition match, but that won’t squelch University of Wyoming soccer head coach Colleen Corbin’s excitement with how her team performed Sunday.

The Cowgirls opened their season, playing Kansas State to a 1-1 draw at Buser Family Park in Manhattan, Kan.

“I could not be more proud of the group,” Corbin said. “Everyone from the starting 11 through the substitutions all the way down to those who helped on the bench, the energy was amazing. The optimism was great. The competitiveness was out the roof.”

The Cowgirls held the game’s only lead, claiming a goal in the 65th minute. Sophomore Alyssa Bedard found the back of the net off a feed from fellow sophomore Camille Hawley.

The score was a byproduct of a combination play similar to what Corbin has preached to her squad in practice. The buildup started with the backline, was advanced to the midfield, played back once again before being pushed to the scoring third.

“Really, really good combination play,” Corbin said. “It’s exactly what we talked about. It was beautiful.”

Wyoming remained out in front until the 83rd minute. Aliyah El-Naggar scored a goal that was assisted on by Marisa Weichel to tie the game at 1-1.

That was the only blemish on what was a strong day in net for redshirt-junior goalkeeper Alex Daws. She turned away 10 shots, and four in the final nine minutes, in what marked her first-career start in goal.

“Overall, super, super proud of her,” Corbin said. “She had a lot of work to do, and that meant her staying mentally and emotionally engaged the whole time. To come in and play a Big 12 school, you anticipate having a lot of work to do, and she did, and she did a great job.”

The Cowgirls managed four shots for the game, two of which were on frame. Freshman Maddie Chance owned three of those, as she had an instant impact off the bench Sunday.

Wyoming returns to Laramie and will open the regular season Friday. The Cowgirls host Colorado School of Mines at 4 p.m. at the Madrid Sports Complex.

* University of Wyoming press release

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