Hays High soccer dominates regional opener
Madelyn Martin scored four goals, Katie Dinkel added a hat trick and the Hays High girls soccer team cruised to a 10-0 over Topeka West in steady rain in Tuesday's Class 5A regional opener at FHSU Soccer Stadium.
The rain had little impact on the Indians, who used crisp passing and nifty finishes to force the 10-goal mercy rule with 28:18 left in the second half.
The Indians (14-2), winners of 13 straight, will play Maize South in the regional final at 6 p.m. on Thursday at FHSU.
"It was kind of difficult to complete all the passes, but I feel like we played as a team well," Hays High junior Caroline Robben said. "After a while we learned how to adapt and I think we did better the second half.
"We knew that the weather shouldn't affect us and we just played our game."
Martin needed just 13 minutes and 31 seconds to notch her hat trick, scoring the game's first three goals.
"I call her stone-cold Madelyn because she'll put it in the net no matter what," Hays High coach Tyler Rueschhoff said.
After Martin's three goals, Nayeli Cisneros, Robben and Dinkel each scored first-half goals to give the Indians a 6-0 halftime lead.
Martin scored the first goal of the second half before Dinkel added back-to-back goals.
"Katie, she really looked like she came to play today," Rueschhoff said. "This was definitely one of her strongest games in the season."
Maggie Robben ended the game with a blast into the net for the Indians' 10th goal.
Most of the Indians' goals were set up by quality passes.
"A lot of the starting 11 have played together since we were like 5 years old, so we know how to play together," Caroline Robben said. We practice a lot on overhitting the ball, so for games like this we're prepared."
"I think we played as a team really well," she added. "I think we're going to show those other regional teams that we're here to win and we'll do whatever it takes."
With teams focused on containing Caroline Robben, Rueschhoff credited Robben for making things happen for her teammates.
"I can tell recently that teams put their fastest player on Caroline to help slow her down and take her out as a factor," Rueschhoff said. "She knows that when she can shoot, she should shoot, but also be unselfish and pass the ball when you need to. She's very aware of what goes on on the soccer field, very smart."
The Indians will now turn their focus to Maize South (13-3-1). The Mavericks advanced with a 1-0 over Valley Center in three overtimes.
It will be a rematch of the season opener, which Hays High lost 1-0 to South in McPherson.