MHS soccer defeats Wichita Heights, 3-1

By Grant Guggisberg

With just two weeks left in the regular season, the Manhattan High girls’ soccer team is doing everything it can to finish strong in hopes of another long postseason run.

Friday’s 3-1 road win over Wichita Heights is a step in the right direction.

Manhattan took a 2-1 lead to halftime and added an insurance goal in the second period to beat the Falcons.

The Indians opened with a goal from Aleise Williams in the first half on a corner kick and a deflection, with Williams in the right spot at the right time.

Manhattan added to its lead on a throw-in from Karmen Martinie to Maddie Taylor, who dribbled through traffic and put away the goal.

Wichita Heights got its lone goal of the match near the end of the first period, with Jada Scott capitalizing on a defensive miscue by the Indians to make it 2-1 at the break.

“Molly had four saves in the first half and four in the second half,” Manhattan head coach Mike Sanchez said. “They got their goal on a mistake on our part. We had a free kick in our defensive third, and it was a miscommunication, we played the ball right to one of their players and they were able to score.”

Manhattan added a third goal in the second period by Brooke Henry on a ball from Kelsey Schroll.

Sanchez said despite a schedule that featured many of its toughest matches early in the season, it’s important to finish strong.

“Even with our top-heavy schedule, we want to make sure we have quality opponents left, and we do,” he said. “We’ve got Wichita Northwest, then Junction City and Shawnee Heights, which has been playing well. We want to finish out the regular season strong.”

Sanchez said the team can finish strong as long as it continues to work hard in practice and stay healthy.

“We continue to focus on the things we’ve worked on this year,” he said. “Right now, we’re trying to keep our stride going and keep momentum on our side, and make sure we recover and rest properly, as well. This year, we haven’t had too many three-game weeks, which is nice.”

The team is expecting to get forward Emma Samenus back soon, which will help the offense while adding depth to the position. The senior has missed the entire season with a high ankle sprain.

Sanchez said he liked what he saw from Williams, who has seen more time at forward with Samenus out.

“Aleise stepped up and really communicated well with her teammates,” he said. “We want her to be dangerous up top, which she does naturally with her speed, but really trying to do more with her off the ball. She did a great job on Friday.”

Manhattan will drive right back to Wichita, traveling to Wichita Northwest on Tuesday before a home match with Highland Park on Thursday at 6 p.m.

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