Indians shut out rival Panthers
After showing signs of progress over the first couple of weeks of the season, the Hays High soccer team put everything together for a rivalry win on Tuesday.
The Indians turned in their best performance of the young season, notching a 2-0 win over Great Bend at Hays High.
Freshman goalkeeper Cannon Meder recorded a shutout in his first start, and the Indians got goals from Diego Muller and Adrian Salas to move to 2-3 overall and 1-2 in Western Athletic Conference play.
“We finally got over the hump,” Hays High coach Silas Hibbs said. “The boys trained really hard over the last week and a half, and it was that commitment that I know for a fact got them this win. It was encouraging to see them reap the benefits of their labor.
“... It was cool to see them seize the moment for themselves and have the confidence to do it.”
The win avenged last week’s 4-1 loss to Great Bend.
“We definitely made a lot more runs,” Hays High player Cesar Macias said. “We held possession a lot. We would take it up the field and we would find feet. That was basically the big difference.”
Meder’s shutout effort was a highlight for the Indians.
“Couldn’t be more proud of him; he’s only a freshman,” Hibbs said. “The first shutout we had all year long. He made a couple big saves early in the first half. He’s one of the guys that kind of epitomizes our team. He might not be the tallest or the strongest, but he’s committed, he works hard, he’s coachable and he’s doing the things we want to do.”
Like in the first meeting with the Panthers, Hays High struck first. Trayton Roa played across a ball to Muller. Muller’s first shot was saved by the Great Bend keeper, but it was deflected right back to Muller, who put in the rebound on the second try with 24:12 left in the first half.
“Trayton makes an unselfish play to Diego,” Hibbs said. “Diego has the wherewithal to stick to it. He didn’t hang his head after he missed it. He put it on frame, and then he followed his shot. He didn’t think about the shot he missed, he focused on the next shot, and that was the one that went in and got us rolling.”
“It really gave us some good energy,” Macias said of the early goal.
The Indians added an insurance goal about six minutes into the second half when Adrian Salas scored off an assist from Chris Goodale.
“Adrian, we’ve had him back for two games after he was out for a little bit so it’s good to see him healthy,” Hibbs said. “Chris makes a selfless pass across the box, and Adrian had the confidence to hit it.”
The Indians, who played without two starters, prevented Great Bend from getting many quality looks down the stretch.
“This game we were just gritty,” Hibbs said. “We wanted it a little bit more. We had a little chip on our shoulder from how it ended at Great Bend. It was actually a 1-1, 2-1 game and we had some injuries late and some things fall apart.
“At the end of the day, they (Hays High players) just wanted it more, and you could tell in the last 10 minutes. When the big moments came, they were focused and ready to take it.”
The Indians will be back at home Thursday to face Dodge City at 4 p.m.
Hays High 2, Great Bend 0
Goals — Hays High: Muller, Salas. Assist: Roa, Goodale.