Soccer kicks of season with 3-0 record

Kris Long, Sports Editor

Girls soccer has hit the ground running this season, beating Seaman 3-0, mercy ruling Junction City and taking the win against no. 1 ranked Blue Valley West 3-2 on Saturday in away games their first week back since 2019. 

“We’re excited and we’re happy just to be playing and actually getting our season,” head coach Mike Sanchez said. “Last year we were… seven to nine days and, boom, it was over, so we’re happy to be playing.”

According to Sanchez, the missed season hasn’t changed their mindset entering this one.

“This year I know we came in with a lot of expectations of holding up our tradition of being super hard-working… going into the season,” senior Faith Beyer said.  “And that was a lot of pressure for us because we missed last season and we didn’t know what it was going to be like.”

They started their season last Tuesday against Seaman, beating them 3-0 with goals from seniors Beyer and Sam Grynkiewicz, as well as freshman Reese Snowden, but missing opportunities to win by a larger margin. 

“We could have beat them by more, but it was our first game,” Grynkiewicz said. “We actually played really well considering and connected well. We had a ton of shots, we just need to focus on finishing a little better.”

The girls put their shots on target two days later, however, shutting out Junction two 10-0. J.C. is usually an easy opponent, and Manhattan has a history of blowouts and early finishes against them. 

“I would say it was really good for our team because normally it’s either a blowout in the first half and… we normally don’t get anything from it, or we go in and we just aren’t trying very much and play badly, and then don’t score as much as we know we can because it’s hard to play against teams that are on a lower level than us,” Beyer said. “But I would say we played super selflessly. We had eight [different] people score… no one wanted to score just for themselves, everyone wanted to for the team.”

Manhattan went down 2-0 from two goals scored within a minute in their weekend match against Blue Valley West, which is one of the most difficult games on Manhattan’s schedule, but came back to win with goals from freshman Emery Rullifson, Grynkiewicz, and junior Ella Rullifson. The Jaguars are back-to-back state champions so a win against them early in the season was significant for MHS, who are currently ranked eighth in the state. 

“We’re gonna be confident but not arrogant,” Sanchez said. “Other teams are kind of watching us a little bit closer, and I think they’re aware of us, but for [ourselves] we just want to stay focused and just play with confidence and play with the play the way we know how to play.”

MHS plays Topeka High away on Tuesday and expect to continue their winning streak.

“I definitely think we have potential and I’m really excited to see where we go,” Beyer said. “I think we have a lot of skill and already we’ve been working really well together …  on the field, I feel like we play super well as a team, and connect well… it looks like we’re going to be successful.”