Manhattan boys Varsity soccer wins regionals

Kris Long, Staff Writer

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Manhattan beat Hutchinson High and Garden City High in the 6A regionals last week on Oct. 23 and 25.

They went into the tournament having earned second seed in the Centennial League; Washburn Rural got first and Manhattan won a coin flip against Dodge City two weeks ago to get second, allowing them to play both of their games at Bishop Stadium.  

Hutchinson was 5-11 the day of the first regional match and Manhattan was 14-2. Hutchinson played the play-in game the day before the match and beat Junction City High 7-0 knocking them out of the tournament.

According to Hunter French, junior starting forward, the team was expecting it to be an easy win, which it was. Manhattan won 9-0 upping their clean sheet streak to nine games in a row. They played a 4-3-3 formation throughout the game. Manhattan scored two goals in the first half and seven in the second.

The scorers in the first were French and Roberto Maysonet Perez, junior forward. In the second, French completed his hat trick and Cole Herpich, senior starting defender, got a brace. Other scorers include Cade Hupp, senior starting midfielder, off a penalty, Parker Holborn, senior forward, and Jack Easton, senior midfielder. Winning the game eliminated Hutchinson from the tournament and got Manhattan through to the regional final.

In the regional final Manhattan played Garden City, who was 12-5 as of the day of the match.

“[Garden City] will be better than Hutchinson but I think we can get the job done,” French said before the game.

Manhattan won 4-0 taking their clean sheet to ten games in a row. Luckily, Manhattan had no injuries and were able to play their starting 11 because Garden City proved to be a good match for Manhattan.

They had several shots and Caleb DeLoach made seven saves throughout the game. The first goal came by Carter Wiens, junior starting midfielder, from a free kick outside the box in the fourth minute, giving them the lead. French scored in the fifteenth from outside the box.

In the second half Max Lansdowne, senior starting forward, got a brace from two counter-attacks down the left side. Each team was very evenly matched compared to many other opponents of Manhattan. The teams had similar shots on goal, though Manhattan had the most, and both teams had somewhat close possession rates.

The main difference was Manhattan’s shots went in. Winning this game made Manhattan regional champions and means they will be able to continue on to the quarterfinals this week.

“I am very proud of this team,” Pedro Espinoza, assistant varsity coach, said. “The guys work very hard and hard work pays off. We have a very talented team and being regional champions was expected.”

In order to get to state Manhattan has to win the game today at 6 p.m. against Dodge City, who are currently 16-2, exactly the same as Manhattan’s current record.

 

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