Hays High soccer falls in PKs
SALINA — After 110 minutes, including four overtimes, produced a 1-1 tie, Hays High’s Class 5A Region 1 semifinal with Salina Central came down to penalty kicks.
After Salina Central goalkeeper Grant Sheppard made his second straight save to preserve a 3-2 Central edge through four rounds of kicks, senior Reese Nesting wrapped it up on a blast past Hays goalkeeper Alecxiz Cano, touching off a Mustang celebration.
The Indians ended the season with a 4-9 record.
With the victory, Salina Central improved to 6-8-1 and will play host to Great Bend at 5 p.m. Thursday for the regional championship. Great Bend advanced with a 3-1 home victory over Salina South.
A pair of mistakes on the back line led to a goal for each team in the first half, and neither team scored again through the second half, two 10-minute overtimes and two more five-minute sessions.
Central elected to go first, and never gave Hays a chance to take the lead. Liam Foley started it with a strong finish inside the right post, and after Diego Muller answered in the same spot for Hays, Logan Johnson tucked one low inside the left post.
Trayton Roa evened it at 2-2 by also going bottom left, but that would be the last make for the Indians. Nolan Foley went to the upper right 90 to put the Mustangs in front for good, and Sheppard stopped the next two attempts by diving to his right, making the second save with his legs.
During regulation, Central got on the board first in the 21st minute, thanks to an own goal when Avery Regier tried to play a ball in from the left edge of the penalty area, only to have it go off the foot of Jacob Taliaferro and roll across the line.
Hays equalized in the 29th, when a failed clearance went off a Central defender and fell right to Muller, who tapped it into an open goal.