Soccer tops Bishop Carroll in overtime thriller, beats Free State, falls to Rural

Advith Natarajan, Staff Writer

Last Saturday, MHS soccer beat Bishop Carroll 3-2 in inspiring fashion, coming back from a 2-0 deficit to win the game in overtime. The victory gave the Lady Indians their fourth of the season, improving their record to 4-3. 

“I think that the way we got after it at halftime and what we discussed [at halftime] kind of helped with the momentum in the last twenty minutes of the game,” head coach Mike Sanchez said. 

Although MHS controlled the game for most of the first half, they failed to capitalize off their chances and Bishop Carroll managed to score right before half, giving them a 1-0 advantage. The second half started similarly with MHS controlling possession, but yet again, the Golden Eagles executed a corner kick with 25 minutes remaining to go up 2-0. However, just six minutes later, a 30-yard strike from sophomore Emery Ruliffson found the back of the net, cutting the lead in half. Eight minutes later, Ruliffson found freshman midfielder Jada Dibbini on a cross into the box, which Dibbini masterfully headed into the goal, knotting the game at two. Tied 2-2 at the end of regulation, the game headed to overtime, where a sublime finish from junior forward Reese Snowden won the game for Manhattan. 

“Their resilience, they are just able to bounce back, which is good,” Sanchez said. “So hopefully we will use the momentum from this game to carry out through the rest of the year.”

The emphatic win closed out a three-game stretch for the Indians, with earlier games against Lawrence Free State and Washburn Rural. 

MHS fell to Washburn 3-1 last Thursday in a hard fought battle. Although evenly matched, Washburn was able to finish their chances while Manhattan struggled to get anything going in the final third against a stout Washburn defensive line. 

“It’s hard for me to be disappointed or frustrated because I felt like it was pretty evenly matched,” Sanchez said.

A couple of days prior, Manhattan faced off against Lawrence Free State, where they won 2-0. The game featured a standout performance for junior forward Katelyn Purdom, whose goal against Free State marked her fifth goal in two games. The goals were especially significant for Purdom, who is coming off a torn ACL from last season, and a canceled season due to COVID a year before. 

“It feels great,” Purdom said. “I have been out for a while so just getting back into it feels amazing. I feel like our team is finally getting back into the swing of it so having a whole team to back me up is really nice.”

Manhattan will face Emporia on Tuesday and Topeka High the next week on April 19.