HHS soccer wins, back in action Thursday

By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

When the Hays High girls' soccer team played Liberal earlier this season at home, the Redskins took them into overtime before the Indians won it.

That was in the past though. Tuesday's first round of the Class 5A regional tournament wasn't nearly as close, as Hays High (14-3) dominated the possession and won 2-0 at HHS Field.

"That was early on in the season, and I don't think we were playing as well as a team," junior midfielder Megan Bird said. "But today, we controlled the ball a lot better, and we've been doing that really well recently."

Liberal (2-14-1) only had one shot on goal, while Hays High had 15.

"I think they came out a little more focused than the last time we played them here, and they know the importance of it being the playoffs," said Hays High coach Chris Michaelis.

The Indians scored both their goals in the first half.

Junior forward Taylor Herman got a deflection inside the box in the 14th minute and passed it towards the goal, and Bird tapped it in for her third goal of the season.

Just before halftime in the 40th minute, junior forward Michele Linville received a pass from Herman and kicked it into the right side of the goal from near the top of the box.

Herman, who leads the team with a school-record-breaking 17 goals, now is tied with junior midfielder April Johnson for the lead on the team with five assists.

"I think we played well today with it being as hot as it was," Bird said. "We kept our composure."

The lead could have been greater, but Hays High failed to take advantage of several scoring opportunities.

Liberal's sophomore goalkeeper Magali Vazquez had 13 saves, which didn't include two shots Herman had that bounced off the goal post.

"Liberal is pretty solid, and they have a really good goalkeeper back there," Michaelis said.

"We missed some opportunities that if we miss them here on out, they are going to hurt us."

Andover Central (10-6-1) won 3-2 in its first round game against Newton, so Hays High will play Andover Central at 4 p.m. Thursday at HHS Field.

Andover Central defeated Hays High 2-1 earlier in the year in the finals of the McPherson Invitational.

However, Bird said Hays High is focusing on each team individually. The past is the past, and all they are playing for is now.

"It is 0-0," Bird said. "There are no records anymore."