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SPOTLIGHT
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Exciting win for HHS soccer

Published on -10/5/2012, 10:25 AM

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By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

Hays High School boys' soccer coach Chris Michaelis said his team might give him "uclers and grey hairs" after this week.

The Indians ended a dramatic week by defeating Liberal 3-2 in comeback fashion.

Hays High (5-6-2, 3-3-1 WAC) overcame a 2-0 deficit by scoring two goals in the final six minutes and one in the fourth minute of overtime to win it.

The win completed a sweep of Liberal. Hays High also won 2-0 on Sept. 27 at Liberal that ended an 18-game losing streak to the perennial Class 5A powerhouse that dated back to 2003.

Liberal dropped to 3-7-1 and 1-5 in the WAC.

"They stuck with it," Michaelis said. "Even though our passes, our runs, our communication and shots weren't what they need to be, teams in the past would have put their heads down and not played through that.

"This group has done a really good job of playing through those not-so-pretty times," Michaelis added.

Hays High senior Kellen Griffin provided the last-minute heroics to keep his team in the game.

Down 2-0 in the 75th minute, Griffin received a pass from senior Josue Lopez and lobbed a shot above Liberal goalkeeper Ricardo Castro's head.

Then 55 seconds later, Griffin added the equalizer, kicking in his own rebound.

"The first one really helped us out a lot," Griffin said. "We kind of got momentum there, and once I put in the second one, it was that much greater."

Hays High junior forward Shawn Herrman scored the golden goal in overtime. He received a cross from senior Cody Brown in the 84th minute inside the penalty box and kicked the ball into the left side of the goal.

"It's their perseverance and willingness to not give up," Michaelis said.

In a way, the Indians stole the match.

Liberal had dominated the possession for the majority of the game.

The Redskins scored their goals late in the first half, took more shots and passed better throughout the match.

Liberal senior Junior Mendez scored the opening goal by kicking it past Hays High goalkeeper Josh Johnson to the back post in the 28th minute.

Then sophomore Jason Rios scored by curling his corner kick toward the back post in the 34th minute.

Hays High didn't threaten often early in the game, but the Indians took advantage when they did late.

"That seems to be kind of how we've been playing most of the year," Griffin said. "We just work hard and try to persevere through the first 20 minutes and maybe even the first half. Today, the first 70 minutes was like that."

The match was reminiscent to Tuesday's match against Dodge City.

Hays High fell behind 2-1 late in the second half and had to score two goals late to tie the match, but in that game, Dodge City scored the last-minute goal to win it.

"Even at Dodge, we didn't play too well until the last 10 to 15 minutes," Griffin said. "We've just been working hard and trying to finish games. We finally did (against Liberal). We put away most of our chances, so that helped us out."

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