Kansas Wesleyan's men kept battling, and their reward was arguably the biggest victory in program history.

The Coyotes twice came from behind and scored three straight goals to close out the match Saturday night on the way to a stunning 4-2 upset of No. 2-ranked Oklahoma Wesleyan at the Graves Family Sports Complex.

The victory gave the Coyotes, 13-4 overall and 11-0 in the Kansas Conference, a one-game lead in the league standings with one to play. Oklahoma Wesleyan fell to 15-2, 10-1.

"It's just the fight in these guys," second-year Wesleyan coach Diego Cocon said after exiting from a raucous locker room celebration. "Our senior leadership is awesome and we started this journey together last year.

"Our mission is almost accomplished. One more game."

 

With a victory or draw at Sterling on Tuesday, the Coyotes would clinch a berth in the NAIA national tournament, regardless of the outcome of the conference postseason tournament.

It was a big night for Salina's own Jose Escobedo, who assisted on the Coyotes' first goal and scored the next two, including the game winner in the 78th minute.

"I just feel like we have to protect our home," said Escobedo, the former Salina South standout. "You wouldn't want someone to come into your home and take your stuff.

"Being from Salina, this is my home and I’m proud to wear this jersey."

The Coyotes trailed 1-0 at halftime, but equalized in the 55th minute when Escobedo found Yader Rodriguez with a cross from the right end line. Rodriguez took one touch and blasted it inside the right post.

But Oklahoma Wesleyan wasted no time regaining the lead in the 57th minute. After a KWU foul in the box, Stefan Cvetanovic stepped to the penalty spot and put the Eagles up 2-1.

The Coyotes squared it again at 2-2 in the 67th minute when Rodriguez returned the favor to Escobedo on a far-post pass from the left side of the box. Escobedo crashed to the right post and knocked it in.

Diego Rodriguez then set up the go-ahead goal in the 78th minute on a ball through the middle. Escobedo shielded the defender with his back and put it in from close range.

With Oklahoma Wesleyan a man down after a red card, KWU tacked on a goal in the final minute on a slick pass from Carlos Loreto to Tim Doherty making a parallel run to his right.

 

Kansas Wesleyan women 2,

Oklahoma Wesleyan 0

Kansas Wesleyan's women are saving their best for last, and the timing couldn't be better.

Three days after knocking off No. 25-ranked Ottawa on the road, the Coyotes struck again Saturday night, retaining sole possession of the Kansas Conference lead with a shutout of No. 16 Oklahoma Wesleyan.

"We're still climbing the mountain," said KWU coach Kat Benton, whose Coyotes improved to 13-2-2 overall, 10-0-1 in the KCAC. "We have one more to get to the top."

KWU wraps up its regular season Tuesday night at Sterling.

"We're full of confidence," Benton said. "We really performed and we're peaking at the right time.

"We locked down defensively and were really good on the counter attack."

The Coyotes led 1-0 at halftime on Taylor Veloz's goal in the 39th minute after Oklahoma Wesleyan keeper Aryza Olague saved her initial shot. The ball deflected to Ruth Kashao, whose attempted clearance fell to Veloz's feet in the top left corner of the 18-yard box.

"I honestly couldn't see because the sun was in my face," Veloz said with a smile. "But I knew that the goal doesn't move so I took the shot."

Veloz also had a hand, or foot, in the second goal. In the 77th minute, her left-side corner kick bounced around near the 6-yard box and fell to Demi Imbriani for the finish.

"I've been hitting them (well) in practice and I'm glad somebody got a foot on it," Veloz said.

The two goals were plenty, thanks to a solid defensive effort by the Coyotes, who allowed just three shots on goal. Wesleyan had a 12-10 edge in overall shots and put six on frame.