HHS soccer advances to quarterfinals
By KLINT SPILLER
And then there were eight.
Goddard-Eisenhower provided a bit of a scare late, but the Hays High School girls' soccer team won the regional championship and advanced to the Class 5A quarterfinals with a 2-1 victory on Thursday at HHS Field.
It's the second straight year Hays High has reached the quarterfinals, the only two times in program history.
"To make the state tournament two years in a row speaks volumes of the girls, but that's not our ultimate goal," said Hays High coach
Chris Michaelis. "The kids want to make it back to that final four, but we are going to have to bring it."
Now, Hays High will be among eight teams to vie for the ultimate crown.
The Indians will play Wichita-Bishop Carroll (14-1-3) on Tuesday in the quarterfinals at HHS Field.
"As I told the girls before the game today, there are no more bad teams," Michaelis said. "There are no more bad teams. We've got to be ready to play."
Hays High (15-2-1) extended its unbeaten streak to 11 matches. The Indians haven't lost since a 1-0 decision April 8 against Junction City.
Goddard-Eisenhower dropped to 9-6-3.
"We knew they were going to come out and be good competition, but we stayed together as a team and worked together," said senior forward Michele Linville.
The match was a tale of two halves, though. Hays High played well in the first half and repeatedly pushed into Eisenhower's territory, but in the second half, Eisenhower grabbed the momentum.
Fortunately for Hays High, the Indians held them off.
"I think the girls, in their high expectations, got a little passive and stopped being aggressive," Michaelis said. "I talked to them about that after the game. We really didn't play as well as we could have."
The Indians didn't take long to get on the scoreboard.
In the third minute, Hays High senior Shelby Dinkel drew a foul just outside of the box. Senior outside midfielder April Johnson took the free kick and launched an arcing shot to the upper far post.
"It was an awesome play on April's part," Michaelis said. "It was a nice shot in the corner of the net, but that's what April is capable of doing."
Hays High extended its lead to 2-0 in the 39th minute when senior Megan Bird battled an Eisenhower defender along the outside and managed to cross the ball into the box. The ball bounced around in the box before it came Linville, who headed it into the back of the net.
"It bounced off the other girl's stomach, then deflected off our girl into the air and then I just headed it into the corner," Linville said.
After dominating the first half, the Indians seemed like they were on their heels in the second half.
Hays High rarely pushed deep into Eisenhower's territory and struggled to possess the ball.
However, Eisenhower took a long time to take advantage of it. It wasn't until the 78th minute that the Tigers got on the scoreboard when sophomore Cassidy Hardin scored on a low shot to the far post from the right of the goal.
"Quite honestly, I don't know if we played our best game of the year today, but on the other side of that, on the positive side of that, the girls competed," Michaelis said. "It might not have been our best game, but they fought and fought and fought."
Linville said Eisenhower should be the wake-up call the Indians needed as they prepare themselves to face the best of the best for
the remainder of the tournament.
"I think they were good competition for us, getting us ready for state," Linville said.
Hays High 2, Goddard-Eisenhower 1
Eisenhower (9-6-3) 0 1 — 1
Hays High (15-2-1) 2 0 — 2
Hays High — Johnson, 3rd minute.
Hays High — Linville, 39th minute.
Eisenhower — Hardin, 78th minute.
Saves — Ferreira 1, Tucker 1, Eisenhower; Truman 6, Hays High.