Last season, the Manhattan High girls’ soccer team was cruising when it ran into state powerhouse Blue Valley West, losing 6-0.
That team recovered and made a run to state. Now the Indians will be looking for the same recovery after losing 5-0 at West on Tuesday.
MHS coach Mike Sanchez said Blue Valley West was a tough team, but the game also offered his team a chance to see the best of the best.
“They’re really fast,” he said. “Their speed of play is fast, and we’d like our girls to play at that speed — that’s why they are on the schedule, so our girls know what to expect going into the playoffs.”
Sanchez said it also shows the girls an example of the direction he would like the program to head.
“For us, on the positive, it shows us where we need to be,” he said. “We have experience on our team, but we are young at the same time, so it did help some of our younger players. It showed everyone where we need to be at to compete with other 6A schools in the state.”
Blue Valley West opened the game with two goals in the first 10 minutes, leaving the Indians to adjust to keep them from piling on the goals.
Sanchez said his team handled that situation pretty well.
“We saw that we can’t come out flat, we have to come out ready to play,” he said. “After that we played really well the rest of the half, we played well for 30 minutes. They were shaky in the back, but in the final third they were dangerous.”
Blue Valley West scored the remainder of their goals in the second half. Sanchez said they made a formation change for the game against West and using it helped show where they need some work.
“It’ s hard to come out in a formation you’ve never played in,” he said. “We had practiced it, but it showed us what to work on if we have to come out and use it again.”
The Indians will return home for a game this Friday, hosting Wichita East at 6:15 p.m. at Anneberg Park.