Manhattan takes fifth loss of season to Emporia

Kris Long, Opinions Editor

Manhattan lost 2-3 to Emporia High in the last minutes of the match last Thursday night. The team has been down on their luck so far this season, with only three wins out of eight games played. Despite the series of losses, the team remains optimistic about their improvement going into a series of matches against less competitive opponents. 

“It seems like we’re … struggling this year,” junior Caleb DeLoach said. “But we can fix that.”

After the loss to Seaman and Washburn, Manhattan was expecting Emporia — one of the more successful teams in the league — to be a challenge. 

“We … knew Emporia was a good team [going into the match],” senior Carter Wiens said. “[We knew] it was going to be a good game.”

MHS changed their starting line-up from the previous games in the season. While many of the players switched positions during the match, some of the major position changes were moving senior Roberto Maysonet Perez from forward to left back and Wiens up top to number nine. Junior Easton Roberts also got his first start of the season in defense.

“We moved … Carter up top to just give us a little bit more of a threat,” head coach Mike Sanchez said, “and then Roberto’s tenacious so he’s going to …  take a lot of pride in what he does in any position he plays. I just wanted to try something new [and] I think it worked. We’ll probably end up sticking with [this formation].”

Though Manhattan had a few chances, Emporia largely dominated the match, keeping play on Manhattan’s side of the pitch. DeLoach kept the game at 0-0 with a multitude of saves, including two back to back. Over the course of the match, DeLoach faced 25 shots from Emporia. 

Despite the disappointing first half, Manhattan gained a bit more of dominance during the second. 

“In the second half we were all working together,” Sanchez said. “Sometimes I think we can get a little bit individualistic [but] I think in the second half we were really working as a unit.”

A defensive error by Emporia with 20 minutes left allowed Wiens to score and Manhattan to take the lead, but Emporia’s number seven came back to tie it with 10 minutes left. The match continued to go back and forth until Emporia added another three minutes later. Both teams defenses’ lost composure in the last minutes of the match and Manhattan tied it again just minutes later from a well-placed free kick from Wiens. There were five minutes left in the match before the game would go to overtime. However, Manhattan gave up the winning goal to Emporia with just a minute left and were unable to equalize. 

“[In] the second half we came out a little bit more determined so it’s kind of a heartbreaker to [lose the match],” Sanchez said. “My hope as we [had] four minutes [was to] hold tight and … go to overtime.”

MHS plays Hayden away today. According to DeLoach they are expecting a challenge from every team. However, Manhattan brought them to mercy last year so are likely to end their losing streak.