Karmen Martinie, Maddie Mahun, Kendra Geisbrecht and Sadie Samenus all recorded goals Tuesday night in their Manhattan High girls soccer team’s 4-0 win over Emporia, but it was Samenus who found herself in a small assembly of emotional teammates and coaches after the game.
The group included juniors Cailey Perkins and Tessa Irvine, as well as head coach Mike Sanchez and assistant Katie DeVault, all gathered next to the bench as Bishop Stadium grew darker by the minute. Perkins, Irvine and Samenus appeared to shed tears.
The Indians (4-1) tallied three second-half goals and cruised to the win, but even so, the three juniors seemed choked up.
“Asking them to push a little bit more,” Sanchez said of the postgame chat with his players. “That’s really it. Just asking them to do a little bit more from within, that’s really all.”
Samenus kicked off the scoring, netting a goal at the 14:11 mark of the first half after Manhattan notched two shots on goal to begin the half. Freshman Ainslie Markle assisted on the goal, the Indians’ only assist all night.
The Indians carried the 1-0 advantage into halftime.
It didn’t take long for them to pile it on.
Geisbrecht scored on a penalty kick in the second half’s first seven minutes, and Mahun connected on a long goal six minutes later for a 3-0 lead.
“We know she’s capable of doing that,” Sanchez said. “It’s definitely something we hope she’ll look to do down the road as well.”
Martinie saved the most impressive for last.
Dribbling down the right side of the field and with a defender tagged closely, the senior stopped on a dime, let the defender fly past, took two steps in and booted a laser into the top of the net.
Manhattan did it all while shutting out the Spartans, too.
“We made some changes so that we could get Molly (Smith) and Karmen involved in the attack a little bit more on the flanks,” Sanchez said. “Those girls really know how to get forward on the flanks.”
As for the three-goal flurry in the second half, Sanchez pointed to his players’ revamped mindsets.
“They were looking to be dangerous,” he said. “I don’t think we were looking to be quite as dangerous in the first half. I think they were taking advantage of the space and the time they were given in the second half.”
If a shutout win wasn’t evidence enough, Sanchez said he thought his players responded well to Addy Stone’s absence. Stone missed the win after going down with an injury in Thursday’s loss to Washburn Rural.
“I think girls stepped up,” he said. “Ainslie Markle stepped up; Maeve Tanona; Kendra Geisbrecht really stepped up.”
Momentum back on their sides, the Indians now face a road matchup with Seaman on Friday and a home game against Blue Valley Stillwell on Saturday.
Manhattan 4, Emporia 0
Emporia 0 0 — 0
Manhattan 1 3 — 4
Samenus kick (Markle assist), 14:11
Geisbrecht PK, 23:45
Mahun kick, 17:11
Martinie kick, 4:20