By the time Manhattan supporters finished shouting “handball!,” Bishop Carroll freshman Brecken Hoy already had swung her leg.
With a little more than a minute to play, Hoy controlled a pass from teammate Autumn Trail off one chest-high bounce.
Manhattan players, coaches and fans thought the ball hit Hoy’s arm, but the referees disagreed. While the Indians looked for a whistle, Hoy looked toward the net. And with 1:05 remaining, she scored the deciding goal in Manhattan’s 3-2 loss against Bishop Carroll on Saturday at Bishop Field.
“We let our guard down for a few seconds,” Manhattan goalkeeper Taylor McHugh said. “And then we watched (the ball) slowly roll past us. It really sucks.”
One momentary lapse prevented the Indians (6-2) from completing their second two-goal comeback this season. Trailing 2-0 at halftime, Manhattan scored two goals in the first 4:04 of the second half.
Senior midfielder Sam Grynkiewicz catalyzed both. With 37:00 to play, Grinekiewicz poked the ball away from a Bishop Carroll defender and toward Manhattan forward Reagan Geisbrecht, who hooked a goal around Golden Eagles’ goalkeeper Madison Wingler with 36:50 to play.
Fifty-four seconds later, Grynkiewicz fired a 35-yard rocket into the top right corner of Bishop Carroll’s net.
Grynkiewicz said afterward that she heard someone yell at her to shoot and instinctively complied. She didn’t think she would score.
Neither did MHS head coach Mike Sanchez, who Grynkiewicz said always encourages her to shoot more. But once she scored, Sanchez was glad he emboldened her. Grynkiewicz’s on-field teammates mobbed her after her game-tying laser.
“It was a banger,” Sanchez said. “So well placed. That shot was so great it kind of got everybody — they were pumped.”
The Indians also were relieved to tie the game after falling behind by two goals during a first half they felt they controlled.
The Indians outshot Bishop Carroll 7-5 in the first half, and Sanchez only counted two of the five as “good opportunities.” But while the Indians generated more offense, the Golden Eagles made the most of their chances.
Bishop Carroll senior Anna Lasak opened the scoring with a header into the top left corner of Manhattan’s net. Jadyn Allen headed a corner kick into the top right corner 12 minutes later.
Grynkiewicz attributed both concessions to “sloppy mistakes.” She said the Indians failed to mark Lasak and Allen when Bishop Carroll crossed the ball to them.
Usually, those lapses wouldn’t sink Manhattan. The Indians had won five games by three or more goals entering Saturday. But Bishop Carroll, which advanced to the Class 5A state semifinals in 2019, presented a larger challenge than most of Manhattan’s opponents.
“They play 10 times faster than most teams we play,” Grynkiewicz said. “If we let our guard down, they scored. If I had a bad ball, they would counter quickly. Good teams take advantage of our mistakes.”
Sanchez hopes the rest of his team recognized the differences Grynkiewicz noted. Sanchez schedules teams like Bishop Carroll to prove his team is fallible and prepare them for the postseason.
His strategy is working on McHugh, who said she gained confidence Saturday after feeling “nervous to touch the ball” during the Indians’ March 27 win over 6A state champion Blue Valley West. And Grynkiewicz, who played all 80 minutes during her second match filling in for senior midfielder Faith Beyer, said she feels “much better” about her transition from forward after playing Bishop Carroll.
The lessons the Indians learned Saturday came in a loss, but Sanchez sees value in that disappointment. His players won’t forget the increased fervor Bishop Carroll played with. They won’t lose another game because they expected a call that never came. And if they execute better early, they won’t need many more two-goal comebacks.
They couldn’t absorb that wisdom after a 10-0 win.
“These are the games we want to play,” Sanchez said. “We know what we need to fix. We know what we need to do: We need to come out a little bit faster (and) with a little bit more fire.”
Bishop Carroll 3, Manhattan 2
B. Carroll 2 1 — 3
Manhattan 0 2 — 2
15:00 — Anna Lasak (BC)
3:16 — Jadyn Allen (BC)
36:50 — Reagan Geisbrecht (MHS)
35:56 — Sam Grynkieiwcz (MHS)
1:05 — Brecken Hoy (BC)