Soccer loses regular season closer

Kris Long, Print Editor-in-Chief

The Manhattan High boys soccer team lost their last match of the season 1-3 on Thursday night to Shawnee Heights, finishing the regular season 10-5-1 and ranked sixth in the region. 

Heights is typically one of Manhattan’s more difficult opponents, and MHS has beaten them by just one goal every game for the past three seasons.

“I don’t think we were nervous at all [going into the match],” senior Will Robben said. “If anything, I think we were excited, you know, last game of the season we wanted to go out and have a good performance. Obviously, it didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to.”

The boys went down 0-1 in the first half and conceded two more goals at the beginning of the second within five minutes of each other. Manhattan got a goal on the scoreboard later in the half from a Shawnee Heights own goal, but failed to put one in the back of the net themselves.

“I think we needed to have more chances on goal,” Robben said. “They had a lot of shots on goal. I think we only had maybe a handful of shots on target, and that number needed to be higher. I think we did a good job of possessing the ball, but a lot of times they intercepted it, and then they just countered our attack.”

Manhattan plays in the first leg of Regionals at home on Tuesday against Wichita Heights. The boys have played them twice already, in the first and second games of the season, which they tied and lost 2-5 respectively. 

“Wichita Heights is a tough matchup, we’ve played them twice before the season,” senior Ibrahim Ciftci said. “We’re expecting a good game, and we have to come out strong in these playoffs.”

Most of the young team has future years of high school soccer to come, but the Regionals match is particularly meaningful for this year’s seniors, for whom this will likely be their last home game, if not their last game as a whole.

“I wouldn’t say stressful, it’s just a little sad… that this could potentially be my last game,” Robben said. “It’s Regionals so if you lose you go home, so we have to put it all out on the field, everything that we’ve been working on this season comes down to this game. We have to play our way, and then whatever happens happens.”