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New-look Indians fall to Buhler

Published on -9/21/2012, 10:26 AM

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By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

The Hays High School boys' soccer team was a different team against Buhler on Thursday.

Junior Lane Clark, an all-WAC midfielder, wasn't dressed for the match, standing on the sideline as more of a coach than a player after suffering a concussion Tuesday at Great Bend, and because of his absence, the team switched from a 4-4-2 formation to a 4-5-1 formation in an attempt to solidify the midfield.

The Indians lost the match 2-1 at HHS Field. Buhler improved to 6-2.

Hays High dropped to 3-5-1 and 1-3-1 in the WAC, but all in all, Indians coach Chris Michaelis was happy with his team's performance, despite it resulting in a loss.

"I thought they did a much better job of communication," Michaelis said. "Instead of just calling for the ball, they are telling where to pass the ball and what player to go to. If we can get better at that, we'll play even better in the future."

It also didn't help they were without one of their best players. Clark collided going for a header Tuesday and won't be able to play until he is cleared by his doctor.

Senior Brady Kenton, who usually plays outside defender, came up from the back line to play in center midfield.

"You miss Lane's leadership, and you miss his understanding and knowledge of the game out there," Michaelis said. "Those things are hard to replace, but I've got to give the guys who stepped up in his place much credit for filling big shoes."

After a 0-0 first half, the Indians got on the scoreboard first in the second half.

In the 49th minute, junior forward Shawn Herrman received a pass from senior Cody Brown and kicked the ball with the back of his heel into the net from the top of the penalty area.

However, Buhler kept up its attack, and the Crusaders tied the match in the 63rd minute.

After the cross from a Buhler corner kick was cleared, junior J.T. Gehling lobbed a pass back into the box and junior Alex Darrow kicked it into the bottom right side of the goal.

Buhler senior Bryce Young then scored the go-ahead goal in the 76th minute, kicking the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal off a deflected shot from Darrow.

"The team as a whole really stepped and did what they had to do, but we just got kind of unlucky today," Herrman said.

Buhler finished with six shots on goal to Hays High's four, and Hays High senior goalkeeper Josh Johnson had four saves.

Michaelis said he was happy with the way his team stopped Buhler's initial attack.

"We've just got to do a better job of clearing the ball and getting up and out of corner kicks," Michaelis said.

The Indians are in the midst of a slump, losing twice this week and drawing last week against Dodge City at home. They haven't won since Sept. 10 against Great Bend.

Michaelis said to get out of the slump, his team just needs to continue working hard in practice and maintain a positive attitude.

"You can't get down on yourself individually and you can't get down on your teammates when mistakes occur, because they're going to occur," Michaelis said. "As long as we stay positive with one another and with ourselves, I have confidence this group of kids will get it turned around."

Herrman said he's not concerned about the slump either.

"Once we get everybody back up to speed and get everybody (healthy), we should play really well and work together," Herrman said.

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