The Hays High soccer team scored four unanswered goals in the second half to notch a 5-1 victory over crosstown rival Thomas More Prep-Marian in cold and windy conditions Thursday afternoon at Hays High.
Hays High and TMP were tied at 1 at halftime. The Indians struck first on a goal from Samuel Rider but then surrendered an own goal before capitalizing on their opportunities in the second half.
"They definitely stayed with it," Hays High coach Silas Hibbs said. "We knew we had momentum with the wind going into the second half. We changed some things up and kind of settled down a little bit. Happy to see the boys excited after a win. We’ve had a little bit of a long season.
"TMP played tough. Kudos to them and their coaches."
The Indians got a pair of goals from Edwin Muller, assisted by Diego Muller, while Brantlee Staab and Kyzer Fox each added a goal in the second half.
"Just settle down a little bit and don’t be the ones being pushed off the ball," Hibbs said was his message to his team at halftime. "We’ve kind of been a team that’s struggled in the middle of the field all season long and TMP did a good job of winning the middle for a while. We just settled down and played our game."
TMP assistant coach Tyler Rueschhoff was encouraged by the Monarchs’ performance.
"This was easily our best game of the year," Rueschhoff said. "We never stopped during the game. We always kept our head high and kept trying and trying and trying. That’s all we can ask from these guys."
Hays High (4-12) will play at Salina Central in its regional opener on Tuesday, while TMP-Marian will play in a regional play-in game on the road at McPherson-Elyria Christian.