Hays High soccer falls in regional final
A banner year for the Hays High girls soccer team ended on a sour note, with the Indians taking a 1-0 loss to Maize South in Thursday's Class 5A regional final at FHSU Soccer Stadium.
Hays surrendered the lone goal with about 15 minutes left when Kyndal Ewertz tracked down a long pass and put one in the back of the net.
Opportunities were scarce for the Indians, who saw their 13-game winning streak snapped.
"We didn't complete passes like we normally do," Hays High coach Tyler Rueschhoff said. "I think we were just so hyped up."
Goalkeeper Julia Zimmerman and the Indians' defenders helped stave off several scoring threats at the beginning of the second half to keep it a scoreless game before the Mavericks finally broke through.
Maize South (14-3-1) also handed the Indians a 1-0 loss in the first game of the year in McPherson.
"I think we were just caught off guard a bit, and all the sudden it was up there and they scored," Rueschhoff said. "They're an amazing team.
"It hurts. We lost 1-0 twice to them."
The Indians finished the year with a 14-3 record in Rueschhoff's first season as head coach. It was the final game for four seniors — Maggie Robben, Allison Shubert, Emelia Morley and Maia Lummus.
"We went on a 13-game win streak and went undefeated in the WAC, no other team can say that," Rueschhoff said. "The seniors, most of their memories come from what happens in practice, how they interact with other girls. These big games are great, but the things that happen in practice and between the other girls is really what holds memories for them."
Rueschhoff said the future is bright for the program.
"I think we laid a foundation this year," Rueschhoff said. "We're only graduating four seniors. Our sophomore class is huge, hopefully we can keep getting all of them out.
"I think we're going to just keep rolling, The girls know what I expect now. Next season I think we're going to get the ball rolling a little faster. We're going to work in the summer and hope this (loss) never happens again."