While losing is never ideal, Manhattan High girls’ soccer coach Mike Sanchez was pleased with the test his team received Friday in Topeka against Hayden.
In a close match the whole way through, the Indians fell to the Wildcats 2-1 in double overtime.
Sanchez said after beating a pair of Wichita City League teams last week in blowout fashion, a close game that tested his team is a good way to prepare for playoff soccer in the coming weeks.
“It was a good test for us, and obviously we’ve had a couple games come down to double overtime, and unfortunately, we’ve come out on the losing end,” Sanchez said. “But at least we’ll be battle tested.”
MHS took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Kelsey Schroll on a ball from Bailey Snyder about 15 minutes into the first period.
“Basically, they plated a high, flat back line, and we were able to get some breakaways, playing balls in over the top or through to one of our forwards,” Sanchez said. “She kept her composure and put it away nicely.”
The Indians kept that lead until midway through the second period, when Hayden scored a goal on a rebound off the crossbar to tie the game.
“Molly was able to punch it up, but it rebounded off the crossbar and landed at a Hayden player’s feet,” Sanchez said. “We could have cleaned it up a little faster, but off the crossbar, it’s a little bit deceiving. You never know where it will end up.”
The game stayed tied until six minutes into the second OT, when Hayden nailed a shot from 30-yards out to earn the win.
“We had our chances in the first overtime, in the second overtime, we had about four minutes left, they hit a 30-yard strike and put it where we couldn’t get to it,” Sanchez said. “From my angle, it was actually a shot from across the field but to her left. She stretched out and got a piece of it, but couldn’t get enough of it. It was a well-struck ball. “
Despite allowing two goals, MHS got a nice game from goalkeeper Molly Fiser. Sanchez said the defense needed to pick up the slack.
“Molly came up with some great saves for us, which were big for her,” he said. “She made the saves she should make. The rest falls on the rest of us to take care of what we do on our end.”
Sanchez said the game was especially physical, but his team responded well.
“It was a tough game, real physical,” he said. “They’re physical and we were able to respond and play physical with them.”
MHS hosts Emporia in a makeup game at 3:30 p.m. on Monday at Anneberg Park.