Behind an aggressive offensive attack, the Manhattan High girls’ soccer team defeated Seaman, 4-0, on Friday night at Bishop Stadium.
Manhattan scored two goals in each 40-minute half and was able to pull away from Seaman early.
Junior forward Kelli Stockton scored first off a ball from midfielder Brooke Henry. Stockton broke free from the Seaman back line to push the ball past the Vikings’ goalkeeper, Emmalie Myers.
Stockton made a few more runs throughout the game, but was unable to get past the last Seaman defender to add more to her total.
“We had more opportunities where could find runners on the through ball and attack in space,” Tribe head coach Mike Sanchez said. Sanchez added that he would like to see his team finish more.
Henry would add to her to goal total late in the first half off one of Manhattan’s six corner kicks. Henry headed the ball in to the lower corner of the goal, giving Myers little chance of making a save.
“It’s big and important for (Henry) with her size to get in the box and win those corners,” Sanchez said. “Kelsey (Schroll) is about 6-foot and (Henry) is about 5-9, so we do have some size in the box.”
Through the creativity of its midfield, MHS was able to keep possession of the ball, forcing the Seaman offense up the field. Seaman did make some runs off counters, but the Indians’ defense quickly recovered and Seaman never posed any real threat to score the ball.
“Putting the pressure on the ball,” Sanchez said, “we never allowed them turn the corner and attack. Put pressure and forced them to go back.”
Goalkeeper Molly Fiser had just one goal kick the entire game.
“I was really proud of them,” the junior goalkeeper said. “That shows they’re doing a great job.”
Fiser said the backline communicated well throughout the game and its ability to recover gave Manhattan the clean sheet.
Midfielder Reshan Fadul provided a lift for MHS. She came off the bench and added another outside weapon.
“I think (Fadul) came in and added a spark with her runs and creativity,” Sanchez said. “Sometimes it’s hard to come off the bench because you’re cold. But she really gave us what we needed.”
With Seaman’s defense already keying in on stopping Stockton, the threat of Fadul opened up more lanes for the Indians’ midfielders to attack.
Fadul found the back of the net in the early minutes of the second half, after bursting past the Seaman back line.
Manhattan’s last goal came on a breakdown by the Seaman defense.
As Seaman tried to clear the ball, Indians’ forward Aleise Williams got her body in front of the clear. Williams knocked the ball down and then scooted a shot past the helpless Myers. Williams had another opportunity late, but was unable to aim the ball.
Sanchez said Williams’ speed is a key asset to this Manhattan team moving forward and that there are plenty of opportunities for her to score based on her speed alone.
The Indians return to action on Tuesday at Topeka High, beginning at 6:15 p.m.