After going scoreless in a tie with Liberal last Thursday, the Hays High girls' soccer team found a quick cure for its goal-scoring struggles on Monday against Junction City.
The Indians scored early and often, cruising to a 7-0 win over the Blue Jays at Hays High.
“I think the girls looked a lot better in the offensive third of the field,” Hays High coach Silas Hibbs said. “They were switching the ball a little bit better and just making a little bit more decisive runs, which is something we talked about, so that was very encouraging.”
Freshman Taleia McCrae opened the scoring with a goal in the sixth minute before Jersey Johnson extended the lead to 2-0 in the 22nd minute.
The Indians (5-1-1) then scored three goals in a span of 2:47, starting with sophomore Maggie Robben’s goal in the 31st minute. Sophomore Allison Shubert pushed the lead to 4-0 before Robben scored again to give the Indians a 5-0 advantage heading into halftime.
Caroline Robben, a freshman, found the back of the next early in the second half before senior Kallie Leiker capped it off with the last goal in the 77th minute.
Senior Hannah McGuire, Caroline Robben, McCrae Johnson and Shubert each had an assist.
“I feel like the girls are feeling a little bit more comfortable in some different positions,” Hibbs said. “They're also feeling a little bit more comfortable playing with each other. We had a long week last week with overtime against Dodge and overtime against Liberal. It was just good for the girls to get rest for the weekend.”
Opportunities were scarce for the Blue Jays, who rarely got the ball past midfield.
“I’m a firm believer that a really powerful offense is one of the best defenses you can have,” Hibbs said.
The Indians were again without senior standout Savannah Schneider, who is recovering from an ankle injury.
Junior Isabel Robben earned the shutout in goal for Hays.
The lopsided nature of the game allowed Hibbs a chance to divvy up playing time and try players out at different positions.
“We started a completely different lineup today and obviously it paid off with getting a couple goals early with that group,” Hibbs said. “We have a lot of girls that can contribute at the varsity level, which is encouraging for a coach, but it’s also a difficult thing to manage when it comes to trying to make everybody happy and winning games longterm.
“Definitely encouraged with getting a lot of people on the field, especially getting some girls in new positions so they see the game from a different perspective.”
The Indians will have a quick turnaround, resuming Western Athletic Conference play with a road game at Great Bend on Tuesday.
“It will be a quick bounce-back game to get back into the physical WAC play,” Hibbs said. “But I know the girls will be ready and hopefully they can bring it.”
Hays High 7, Junction City 0
Junction City 0 0 — 0
Hays High 5 2 — 7
Goals — Hays High: M. Robben 2, C. Robben 1, McCrae, Johnson, Shubert, Leiker. Assists: McGuire, McCrae, C. Robben, Johnson, Shubert.