Defensive lapses cost Indians a win

By Kelly McHugh

The Manhattan High boys’ soccer team didn’t have enough to finish the job Tuesday night, falling at home to Topeka Hayden 3-2 in sudden-death overtime.

Despite a 2-1 lead at the close of the first half at Anneberg Park, defensive lapses for the Indians led to Hayden’s final two goals — one in the second half and a stoppage time game-winner.

“They didn’t play the way we told them to,” MHS head coach Frank Alonso said after the game. “We knew they were as talented as we were, we knew it was a dead-even game, I mean we were better than them in the back, we just didn’t show it today.”

Hayden got off to a quick start, scoring its first goal in the opening two minutes of play. Hayden senior midfielder Conner Beck broke through the Manhattan High defense for a shot on goal and, despite a diving effort from MHS senior goal keeper Kai Reever, sunk the ball into the back of the net.

The Indians were down 1-0, but they were quick to respond with a goal of their own by the seventh minute.

Junior forward Eric Gray battled for possession of the ball inside Hayden’s 18-yard box and, after beating the Wildcat goalie, Gray placed the ball into the back of the net, tying the game.

“We showed some character after being 1-0 down,” Alonso said.

The intensity on the field picked up after Manhattan tied the game 1-1.

It wasn’t until the 18th minute that MHS senior midfielders Alex Dzewaltowski and Evan Williams would connect with a pass from Dzewaltowski to Williams, who scored a goal that secured his team a 2-1 halftime lead.

While Manhattan maintained possession of the ball much of the second half, in the 58th minute Hayden’s Beck found himself able to play off the Indians’ defensive slip ups and put away his second goal to tie the game.

“When we got the ball wide we could play well,” Manhattan assistant coach John Massanet said. “We could dominate the game when we would spread them out, but it was a matter of consistency tonight and staying disciplined. 

“I think the difference in the game was they had a style of play that they were consistent with and we were constantly trying to find consistency.”

When the whistle blew on regulation the game was tied 2-2. Instead of finishing in a tie, the teams went on to play a 10-minute overtime in which the team to score first would win.

Five minutes into OT, the Manhattan’s defense left Hayden junior midfielder Jacob Keck open. He didn’t waste the opportunity, as he drilled it past Reever for the game-winning goal.

“The only way we lose games is when we make dumb mistakes in the back,” MHS senior midfielder Jonathan Taylor said. “Two of their goals came from us not marking people. If we had marked them, we could have won 3-1.”

Overall, Manhattan had 10 shots with seven on goal and Reever finished the night with six saves.

Tuesday’s loss puts the Indians at 7-3-1 this season. MHS willl get back to action on Thursday when it hosts Topeka High at 6:15 p.m.

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