Hays High soccer shutout at home
By AUSTIN COLBERT
For the Hays High School boys' soccer players, it must be like having that catchy but incredibly annoying song stuck in their head all day.
There is the fun chorus -- which for the Indians is a rapidly improving defense and ability to move the ball up and down the field with ease.
But as entertaining as it might be, there is also something keeping it from being great. And the Indians know exactly what are missing in their game -- goals.
"I think they play aggressive when the other team has the ball, but when we have the ball we are just lacking that last shot," Hays High soccer coach Saul Hernandez said. "I think we work our plays well up until we need to shoot. That's where our problem has been the last few games."
The Indians' scoring woes continued on Tuesday in a 2-0 loss to visiting Garden City (9-3, 5-1 WAC) at HHS field. It is the fifth consecutive loss for Hays High (5-9, 1-6 WAC), with four of those fives losses being shutouts.
The only Indian goal over that span came in a 3-1 loss at Liberal on Oct. 10.
"The guys have been playing good, but they need that extra -- I don't know what it is. Up top, we need to shoot more," Hernandez said. "That's been the thing these last games. Defensively we've been playing solid, but up top we haven't been taking shots. It hurts us in the end."
Hays High carried a good defense and a strong wind to a 0-0 halftime score. But with the wind in favor of Garden City in the second half and a lacking offensive game, the Indians' inability to score caught up to them.
Garden City broke the silence when senior David Fuentes scored in the 48th minute. Players were fighting for control of the ball in front of the Hays High goal following a corner kick, and the ball happened to roll in the direction of Fuentes who kicked it in for an easy goal.
The Buffaloes added a second goal in the 67th minute in a similar fashion, when sophomore Gilberto Tovar scored after junior Eric Barragan's shot attempt bounced off the Indian defense and right to him.
"With the ball and the wind behind them, I thought we controlled the game pretty well," Garden City coach Joaquin Padilla said.
"The second half I thought we had some good shots and were able to make two. Our main goal was to hold them."
Hays High's best chance to score came in the 71st minute when senior Lane Clark was awarded a penalty kick on a yellow card and handball call on Garden City. Clark's kick was unsuccessful and the Buffaloes would hold on for the shutout.
Garden City had 11 shots on goal to only three for Hays High.
The Indians will have a week off before finishing up WAC play at Garden City next Tuesday. Hays High's final regular season game is a week from Thursday at home against Thomas More Prep-Marian.
"In eight days we played four games and it will kind of help us get our heads back together," Hernandez said of the week off.
"Kind of slow it down for us a little bit. Look at the good things; look at the bad things. It will give us some time to evaluate all those things and have a little more time to work on stuff."