Manhattan High boys’ soccer dominated Monday en route to a 6-1 road victory over rival Junction City.
“I thought we played well,” MHS head coach Mike Sanchez said. “We were a little slow in the first half. We were a little static off the ball, but in the second half, we turned it up and we really started to find a groove. (Junction City) has definitely improved, and they gave us a great game.”
The Indians (5-3-1) got up 2-0 in the first 20 minutes, starting with a Grant Snowden goal on a cross from sophomore forward Ged Comiso at the 39-minute mark.
Sophomore forward Carter Oehme tapped in the second goal for Manhattan with 25:26 to play in the first half off an Ibrahim Ciftci shot that bounced off the Blue Jays’ keeper .
The goals for Snowden and Oehme were their first of two on the day.
“Grant always does a great job finishing,” Sanchez said. “And Carter, being a first-year varsity player, is really finding his spot on the team.”
Junction City (4-4-0) cut the Manhattan lead to one off a Jorden Kell goal from Gabe Lamb with 8:40 to play, but Snowden extended that lead back to two with 34 seconds left in the half off an assist from senior Alex Boyle.
Senior forward Marco Zambrono got the fourth goal of the day for the Indians off a throw-in early in the second half, which pushed the MHS lead to 4-1.
With 16:22 to play, Oehme found the back of the net a second time, scoring off a through ball from sophomore forward Jimmy Ramirez that Junction City’s keeper initially blocked. But Oehme followed through to score again.
Seven minutes later, a save from junior keeper Lance Scudder turned into a score for Ramirez, giving the Indians their sixth and final goal of the game.
The game, Manhattan’s ninth of the year, officially moves the Indians into the second-half of their regular-season schedule. Sanchez said he has been pleased with the progress he’s seen from a team that only returned one full-time varsity starter — Snowden — from last season.
“Everybody is coming around,” Sanchez said.
Up next, Manhattan hosts Emporia Thursday at Bishop Stadium.