Indians rout Wichita Heights, 6-1

By Grant Guggisberg

So much for the Manhattan High girls’ soccer team not scoring goals.

The Indians broke out against the Wichita Heights Falcons, winning 6-1 after taking a 2-0 lead to halftime and breaking open the game in the second half.

Manhattan has struggled the last few weeks — when the weather has allowed them to play — in scoring goals. Despite a steady rain that made things tough for both teams, the Indians broke through, pouncing on the Falcons in a game that was never close after the first 30 minutes, with goalkeeper Molly Fiser preserving the shutout until the final 15 seconds.

Head coach Mike Sanchez said extra practices, which came at the expense of canceled games, helped provide the boost of confidence.

“We were supposed to have three games this week, but we did take advantage of not having the other two games,” he said. “We would have loved to get them in, but we were able to work on finishing training sessions and rebounding. We really hit home on the finishing.”

Manhattan outshot Heights 15-12, while outscoring them 6-1. The Indians led 2-0 at halftime and got a pair of goals from Bailey Snyder and Kelli Stockton, with Par McNair and Maddie Taylor getting in on the scoring as well.

Sanchez said Friday’s game is an indication that the Indians have turned a corner.

“I think after this result, I think we answered some of the questions we had,” Sanchez said.

Defensively, the Indians were solid, allowing only one goal after the outcome had long been decided.

“I’ll give credit to Molly and her ability to talk an control that back line,” Sanchez said. “The last few games, they’ve really done phenomenal and really built from the back.”

Sanchez said the weather, which included a steady rain most of the day, affected both teams.

“It could have gone either way for both teams,” Sanchez said. “It’s hard to play in these conditions anyway, it’ll be nice to have turf next year I suppose.”

The second-year coach said he hopes the offensive resurgence carries into the following two weeks, when the Indians are scheduled to play three games each week.

“Hopefully we carry from this game into next week, because we have three games next week and three games the following week,” Sanchez said.  “Hopefully we’re done with the weather.”

Manhattan hosts Wichita Northwest in a game Tuesday before hitting the road against Highland Park and Hayden on Thursday and Friday.

“If we’re starting to peak right now, it’s the right time,” Sanchez said. “It’s good for us, we’re really starting to click.”

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