HHS soccer gets another win vs. Great Bend
By CONOR NICHOLL
Hays High School girls' soccer coach Chris Michaelis went out to the soccer field about 2 to 2:30 p.m. on Monday to place the flags around the pitch. He had nice conditions with no wind and didn't need a coat for his work.
Shortly before the game started at 4 p.m., the temperature was around 58 to 59 degrees.
Then, a cold front blew in quickly and the temperature dropped roughly 20 degrees in 10 minutes. High winds quickly changed the game and eventually forced the cancellation of the junior varsity contest after the varsity. However, even with the strange weather pattern, the Indians collected a 4-0 win against Great Bend. Hays High tallied three second half goals at the south end.
The north wind was so strong HHS had possession virtually all second half, and Great Bend never had the ball past midfield.
"We did a really good job of controlling the ball," Michaelis said.
"Possessing the ball and playing the ball out wide like we wanted to. I told them at halftime, you can't get the ball up in the air. You get the ball up in the air going with the wind, it was just going to blow out of bounds. I thought our girls did a really good job of keeping the ball down on the ground."
Hays High improved to 9-2, 6-0 WAC with its second 4-0 victory against Great Bend in the last four days. The Indians had a 16-2 edge in shots on goal and a 13-1 advantage in corner kicks. HHS played nearly all the contest without senior April Johnson, who missed Friday's road win against Great Bend because of a hamstring injury.
Michaelis said Monday marked some of the worst conditions he had seen for a game.
However, last week, Hays High had similar conditions in a contest at Liberal.
"Warming up, there was about five seconds where you felt warm and you were sweating, and then all of a sudden, that cold front came through and you were freezing," senior Shelby Dinkel said. "You are like, 'I got to get some clothes on.' Once the game had started, it was really cold. The wind had picked up, and we are all just thinking, 'OK, we've all got to change our strategy now.' "
Dinkel had the game's first goal in the 24th minute when the ball deflected off a Great Bend player. HHS had a 7-2 lead in shots on goal at the half. During halftime, both teams put on pants and multiple layers. Many parents and fans watched the game from cars.
"Second half, the big thing was, stay patient and don't get mad at each other," Dinkel said. "We didn't. Once a certain body part got cold, you knew it wasn't going to go back to warm. Our legs especially hurt so bad. Bare skin with a ball coming at you Lord knows how fast. Keeping our legs warm was really hard. None of us were wearing tights in the first half, because we didn't expect weather like this."
In the second half, the wind was so strong a large, industrial-sized plastic bag blew the length of the field in seven seconds, never interfered with game action, and then stuck in the batting cage netting that was beyond the south goal. Many balls that went up in the air blew backwards.
"We went from, 'Oh, this is going to be a nice game,' to 'Oh, this is going to be a pretty cold and gross game,' and we've got to keep our composure as a team," Dinkel said. "I think that helped us quite a bit, because we are used to making drastic changes really quickly."
In the second half, Hays High moved the lead to 2-0 in the 50th minute when Lauren Murphy crossed the ball in front of the goal and senior Taylor Herman kicked it in. Great Bend had an own goal three minutes later, while Lacey Pfannenstiel scored the final goal in the 59th minute on a kick from about 10 yards out.
Hays High plays again at 4 p.m. Thursday against TMP-Marian at TMP Field.