MHS soccer edges Shawnee Heights

By Grant Guggisberg

The Manhattan High girls’ soccer team wrapped up the regular season with a 1-0 win over Shawnee Heights on the road Thursday evening.

The Indians got a single goal in the 23rd minute from Kelli Stockton on a ball from Emma Samenus in the first period, which proved to be enough with more than 50 minutes of scoreless soccer the rest of the way.

“We play with a target forward, and they play a little bit deeper with their unbalanced back line,” Manhattan head coach Mike Sanchez said. “So we started with a quick counter, Brooke checked in, played a ball to Emma wide and she played a ball into Kelli and she put it away. It was nice.”

Sanchez said he was pleased with his defense, which turned away the T-Birds’ attack late.

“Toward the second half, they started to commit to pushing numbers forward more,” he said. “It’s a close game, all they need is a break and they’re right back in it. We had a solid performance from our back four — or back five — since we rotate Karmen Martinie in there. But Ally (Taylor) and Lani (Fischer) did a good job back there, organizing and controlling that back line with Sydney (Zafran), Zoey (Botkin) and Karmen. They’re solid.”

With the win, Manhattan will likely earn the No. 3 seed in the playoffs, guaranteeing them a home game on Tuesday against a No. 14 seed, with a win there leading to a second home game on Thursday against either a No. 6 seed or a No. 11 seed.

“I think we got Wichita North, but I’m not 100 percent yet,” Sanchez said. “Either them or Wichita Northwest. I’m pretty certain we got the No. 3 seed, so we’ll get to host two home games if we can win on Tuesday, which is nice. We had to travel last year, and we’d much rather host. Hopefully the next few games we get a good crowd over at Bishop.”

Maize will be the No. 1 seed in South Central bracket, with Washburn Rural earning the No. 2.

Tuesday’s game will begin at 6 p.m. at Bishop Stadium.

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