Hays High soccer runs WAC table, enters regional on 12-match winning streak
After wrapping up a perfect Western Athletic Conference slate and extending its winning streak to 12, the Hays High girls soccer team will now have a week to gear up for the postseason.
Hays notched three more wins this week to move to 13-2 season. The Indians are currently in the No. 3 spot in the Western Regional standings.
They clinched the outright WAC championship on Monday with a 2-0 win at Garden City, then put the finishing touches on an 8-0 conference slate with a 3-0 victory against Dodge City on Thursday at the FHSU Soccer Stadium.
"It feels good to handle 6A schools easily," Hays High first-year coach Tyler Rueschhoff said. "I told them beating a team twice is really hard to do in a single season.
"(For Thursday's game), I gave them challenges. I said 'Today, I want to play simple, play to the person that's open.' When we did that, we found the goal."
The Indians then capped off the regular season with a 12-0 win at Nickerson on Friday.
"They keep rolling on this high after every single game. I just hope we don't become content," Rueschhoff said. "When we get to regionals, there's teams putting everything out there because they want to keep going. That's when I think we'll start finding challenges during games."
Junior Madelyn Martin set up the Indians' first goal, crossing it over to sophomore Nayeli Cisneros, who beat the Dodge City keeper for the lone goal of the first half.
Martin converted a penalty kick in the second half to make it a 2-0 game.
Rueschhoff said switching Martin to center forward has paid off for the Indians, with Martin having a knack for creating opportunities.
"She's been a playmaker," Rueschhoff said. "It opens up a lot of space for other people to get in and go. Madelyn ... she's not going to let (the opponent) have the ball very easily. She's going to do anything she can to get it into the goal, or to find someone's feet to put into the goal."
Katie Dinkel ended the game in rousing fashion, getting a foot on a ball as she was off balance and firing it into the back of the net in the final minute.
The Indians on Thursday honored its five-player senior class of Maggie Robben, Maia Lummus, Allison Shubert, Emelia Morley and Kimberly Lopez.
Regional play is set to open May 17.
"Our focus is going to be to perfect what we know how to do already," Rueschhoff said. "Repetition this next week is going to be our friend, I think. I think we're going to be ready. We're looking good."