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HHS soccer completes unbeaten WAC run

By KLINT SPILLER
kspiller@dailynews.net

Hays High School girls' soccer coach Chris Michaelis told senior forward Taylor Herman several days ago she had tied the school's career scoring record.

Ever since, Herman said she was aiming to break it, but she wasn't able to find the back of the net in either of the matches early in the week.

Maybe it was for the best, because instead, she set the record Thursday on Senior Night when her and fellow classmates were being honored.

"I finally got it," Herman said after the game.

Herman scored the go-ahead goal in Hays High's 2-0 victory against Dodge City (5-8-1, 3-2-1 Western Athletic Conference) at HHS Field. The win clinched the school's first 8-0 record in WAC play and first perfect conference season since 2000 when the Indians went 6-0.

Herman, already the single-season record holder with 17 as a junior, scored her 10th of the season and 32nd of her career in the fifth minute of the match.

Kelsey Hedlund, a 2009 graduate, had the previous record of 31.

"(Herman) is a competitor," Michaelis said. "Those are few and far between on a team. ... She competes from beginning to end
through the whole game."

Herman collected the ball to left of goal off a deflection inside the box and kicked it off the goalkeeper's outstretched hands.

"We are always told to follow shots up," Herman said. "The wind took it and hit the girl wrong, hit the ground wrong because of our (sub-par) field, and I just ran through it and it went in."

What was particularly surprising about her breaking the record was she wasn't much of a scorer early in her career.

Herman played behind the previous single-season record holder, Jessie Steffen, as a freshman and scored just one goal. She tallied four more as a sophomore before exploding for 17 as a junior and earning WAC Player of the Year honors.

"Her ability to finish these last two years and do things speaks volumes of her," Michaelis said.

Herman set the record, but she was just one of nine seniors recognized Thursday.

The 2013 class has been a special group for Hays High (13-2, 8-0 WAC), not only in quantity — Michaelis said its his largest senior class he's seen on the girls' side — but also in success.

As juniors, they propelled the team to its best finish in school history, and as seniors, they are ahead of last year's pace.
In their four years so far, the squad has gone 50-21-2.

Michaelis said this group did everything that was asked of them to be successful, practicing hard during season, working out in the off season and lifting weights.

"It's all things this senior group has done," Michaelis said.

Both teams battled gale-force winds blowing north to south.

The Indians capitalized when they had the wind at their back, and Dodge City didn't. Dodge City finished with eights shots on goal to Hays High's six, but the Indians' shots were well struck.

Senior Megan Bird scored the other goal in the 25th minute when she launched a shot from long range that arced over the goalkeeper's hands.

Bird, a four-year starter, now has eight goals this season and 21 in her career.

"As the game went along, we got better and the kids understood what we needed to do," Michaelis said. "That's what I've come to
expect from this senior group of girls."

Hays High 2, Dodge City 0
Dodge City (5-8-1, 3-2-1)    0 0 — 0
Hays High (13-2, 8-0)    2 0 — 2
First half
Hays High — Herman, 5th minute.
Hays High — Bird, 25th minute.
Saves — Estrada 4, Dodge City; Truman 8, Hays High.