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Hays High soccer falls to 0-2

Published on -8/31/2012, 10:33 AM

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By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

Hays High School senior goalkeeper Josh Johnson made nine tremendous saves against McPherson.

Balls were shot hard at him, and he made several diving catches, rarely letting the ball out of his grip. So after such a solid performance, it was odd the difference in the game came off a ricochet.

With the ball in Hays High's box in the 70th minute, players battled to take a shot or clear it, and the ball bounced off McPherson junior Peter Horton's thigh and into the goal.

"It is frustrating giving up something that simple, but at the same time, all coaches try to tell their players shoot the ball on goal and see what happens," said Hays High head coach Chris Michaelis. "Put them under pressure inside the box."

Hays High lost 1-0 to McPherson, who was ranked No. 5 in Class 4-1A in the Kansas Soccer Coaches Association soccer rankings released Monday.

The Indians dropped to 0-2.

"You have to give McPherson credit," Michaelis said. "They are the No. 5 team in the state. They created a lot of the problems we had today."

McPherson dominated the possession and created opportunity after opportunity. If it weren't for Johnson's saves on several well-struck balls, the result might have been even more lopsided.

McPherson finished with 10 shots on goal to Hays High's three.

"They are physical," Johnson said. "... They can create opportunities."

Michaelis said his team played better than it did in its 3-1 loss to Garden City on Monday, but the Indians still have room for improvement, such as with their communication and movement off the ball.

"We are waiting to see where the ball is being played and then trying to get there," Michaelis said. "We have to make it tougher for teams to defend us with our movement off the ball."

Horton might have scored the only goal, but McPherson senior forward Nick Torres was the one creating opportunities throughout the game. The shifty forward found ways to get behind Hays High's back line and created problems all afternoon.

However, the Indians found ways to contain him.

"He's been a varsity player since his freshman year," Michaelis said. "Coming into the game, we knew who he was and knew he was going to create a lot of opportunities. He's a workhorse."

Johnson said it was frustrating to see a ricochet get past him, but he said if the teams see each other again, it might end in a different result.

"It is frustrating, but we'll get them next time we play them," Johnson said.

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