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MHS soccer wins third straight title

By Joel Jellison

The Manhattan High girls’ soccer team did it again on Thursday.

For the third consecutive season, the Indians won the Centennial League title, this time sharing the crown with Washburn Rural. The two teams played each other in April and finished in a draw.

The Indians (13-2-1) locked up their share of the title with a regular season-ending win over Shawnee Heights, beating the Thunderbirds 4-1 on the road.

MHS coach Mike Sanchez said the team deserves a lot of credit for enduring through a coaching change and continuing the success.

“All credit goes to the girls, they are the ones that step on the field and win the games, I just try to make sure they get prepared in practice to have as much success as possible,” he said. “They’ve done a good job with all the adjustments because it’s not always easy to have a new coach come in. I’m really proud of them.”

The Indians won’t have much time to celebrate their league title, though, as they will head into regional play next week.

“We look forward to it,” Sanchez said. “I will find out who we play in the first game this weekend and we will start preparing and get ready for the playoffs next week.”

The Indians opened the game with a goal from Ally Taylor off a Onyeka Ehie pass with 24:30 to play in the first half. They made it a 2-0 halftime lead when Bailey Snyder scored an unassisted goal with 1:11 left.

After Shawnee Heights scored a goal to pull within one early in the second half, Snyder found Ehie with 21:05 to play to put the Indians back up by two goals.

Annissa Durar would find Snyder with 9:05 to play, and Sanchez said that put the game away.

“Offensively we had our moments,” he said. “The games will have mistakes and ups and downs, but we still look to clean those mistakes up and take something away from every game.”

Sanchez said they also used the game as another opportunity to rest a few players and mend some injuries. It also gave them the chance to give freshman goalkeeper Molly Fiser her second start of the season.

“Molly got her second start and she did well,” he said. “She was more comfortable and there didn’t seem to be as much pressure on her. We were just resting a few more people, and we again asked players to step up in absences, and they have done a good job.”

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