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HHS soccer falls in opener



Special to The Hays Daily News

GARDEN CITY -- There's something to be said about patience when playing a sport.

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Special to The Hays Daily News

GARDEN CITY -- There's something to be said about patience when playing a sport.

As the saying goes, patience is a virtue.

If indeed that has merit, then Erik Barragan is one soccer player who took that idea to heart Tuesday at Buffalo Stadium when the Garden City Buffaloes boys hosted their Western Athletic Conference opponent Hays High in the 2014 season opener.

Thirty-five minutes into the game, the teams were locked in a scoreless battle, frustrating the Buffaloes while pleasing Indians' coach Jim Maska.

That's when patience paid off for Barragan and the Buffaloes.

After being benched for nearly 10 minutes in that first half, a more patient Barragan hit the Indians with a two-goal blitz within the span of 40 seconds in the 36th minute to produce a 2-0 advantage that eventually turned into a 4-1 victory for the Buffs.

The Indians, which had suffered the embarrassment of a 9-0 skunking on the same field in 2013, were not going to let that happen a second straight season, at least that was the objective for coach Jim Maska.

"I liked the way we played for the first 36 minutes," Maska said afterward. "We were working the ball, moving it and spreading them out. They got the two goals so quick."

But Maska's halftime speech seemed to reignite the Indians, with their defense once again baffling the Buffaloes. When Logan Renz sent a long kick from the left 25-yard line off a free kick, senior Nathan Romme headed it into the goal to cut the score to 2-1 in the 51st minute.

"We got that one back, and I felt we were right in the game," Maska said of Romme's goal. "We had a couple of chances to get another, and if we could have done that, it might have been different."

And while the Indians weren't able to penetrate and get many shots on goal (4), the Buffs didn't crack this one open until the 58th minute when newcomer Luis Carmona, a transfer from Texas, stutter-stepped and faked Staab from the left edge of the 17-yard goal box. He then drove a kick high into the back right of the net, making it 3-1.

Barragan then iced the win with his third goal, this one in the 66th minute, when he accounted for his hat trick on a dribble up the center, hitting a slight delay shot into the goal that slowly trickled in.

Garden City had 24 shots compared to the Indians' four. Garden City goalkeeper Israel Reyes wasn't busy, managing just one save while Staab had six saves for the Indians.  

"We're filling in a lot of gaps from the team of a year ago, and we're using a new formation, so I think we're just gonna get better," Maska said. "The new formation allows us to use a quick counter attack. I liked the fight we had so there's some positives to take away."

The Indians are at home for a 4 p.m. Thursday game against McPherson at the HHS soccer field.

Garden City 4, Hays High 1

Hays High 0 1 -- 1

Garden City 2 2 -- 4

First half

GC--Erik Barragan, unassisted, 36th minute

GC--Erik Barragan, unassisted, 36th minute

Second half

HH--Nathan Romme, Logan Renz, assist, 51st minute

GC--Luis Carmona, unassisted, 58th minute

GC--Erik Barragan, unassisted, 66th minute

Shots--Hays High 4, Garden City 23. Saves--Hays (Conner Staab 6), Garden City (Israel Reyes 1).