HHS soccer downs Garden, 4-0
By AUSTIN COLBERT
By AUSTIN COLBERT
When the Hays High School girls’ soccer team failed to score against Thomas More Prep-Marian Thursday in a 0-0 draw — the first non-win for the Indians against TMP in program history — it ignited an inferno inside them, one that came to fruition in the early minutes against visiting Garden City High School on Monday.
“We were kind of disappointed by the outcome of the TMP game. We really wanted to come back and we want to be ahead in the WAC,” Hays High senior midfielder Lacey Pfannenstiel said. “We focused on the game like we needed to. We had a really good practice on Friday, got good rest, then came out today and it showed.”
After torching Garden City (6-5, 3-3 Western Athletic Conference) with three goals in the first 10 minutes of play, Hays High (10-2-1, 7-0 WAC) was able to cruise the rest of the way en route to a 4-0 win at HHS Field.
The win clinched at least a share of the WAC title for a third consecutive season for Hays High. Only Dodge City (6-6, 4-1 WAC) can still catch the Indians.
The two teams will play each other on Thursday in Hays, with an Indian win giving them the conference crown outright. While it will be Hays High’s final conference game, Dodge City still has games at Garden City and Liberal to follow.
“At the beginning of the season I don’t think very many people thought we were going to win the conference again, but we’ve showed that we can play together and mix and match players,” first-year Hays High coach Saul Hernandez said.
“They kind of took out their frustrations from Thursday’s game and did a great job coming out and giving it to (Garden City). They came out strong the first 10 minutes like we talked about.”
Hays High wasted little time getting on the board Monday, scoring its first goal in the sixth minute, an easy touch by Pratt Community College commit Alexa Brull, assisted by freshman Courtney Molleker.
Less than four minutes later it was Molleker who struck, getting an easy tap-in goal after a pass from Pfannenstiel ricocheted off Garden City freshman goalkeeper Ashlee Richman. Molleker was able to knock it in despite an impending collision with the goalie.
“I just kind of followed up. I always follow up on shots and I guess it just worked out this time,” Molleker said. “The keeper just kind of bobbled it.”
Molleker added a second goal, her third of the season, at the 30:01 mark of the first half and just 59 seconds after her first goal. This one was anything but luck, a nice strike set up by two perfect passes from Pfannenstiel to freshman Tressa Becker, and Becker to Molleker. Before Garden City could blink, Hays High led 3-0 and would take that lead into halftime.
“We talked to them and said what the game meant and what it meant for us, and apparently it meant more for them than it did for us,” Garden City coach Joaquin Padilla said. “We were flat and those two goals were just killers. We weren’t able to get back to our game and we didn’t play the way we normally play.”
The Indians tacked on their final goal barely a minute into the second half, when Becker found Pfannenstiel for a long and beautiful rainbow shot from well outside the goalie box, which floated perfectly over the goalie’s outstretched hands and into the net.
The rest of the half presented little in the way of action, with each team threatening to score only a couple more times. Hays High outshot Garden City 6-2, with each keeper — Hays High’s being sophomore Brittany Dinkel — recording two saves.
“Our chemistry has just been great. That contributes to our success in the conference,” Hernandez said. “Whenever you get a 3-0 lead that early, it gives you a lot of comfort. It gives you a chance to rotate players more. With us having three games this week, it was important for us to get those so we can rotate players and be fresh.”
The Indians will step out of conference action with a 6 p.m. game at McPherson High School today before their WAC showdown with Dodge City on Thursday. Hays High wraps up its regular season with a home match against Salina Central on May 15.
Hays High 4, Garden City 0
Garden City (6-5, 3-3) 0 0 — 0
Hays High (10-2-1, 7-0) 3 1 — 4
Hays High, Brull, 6th minute (Molleker); Molleker, 9th minute (Pfannenstiel); Molleker, 9th minute (Becker).
Hays High, Pfannenstiel, 2nd minute (Becker).
Saves — Richman 2, Garden City; Dinkel 2, Hays High. Shots — Garden City 2, Hays High 6.