Great Bend's soccer team played well enough to threaten Liberal's unbeaten Western Athletic Conference record.
But Liberal goalie Levi Flores saved the day for the Redskins as he stretched for several spectacular first-half saves. Great Bend (8-7, 4-4 WAC) built a strong offensive attack keyed by northwest winds blowing from 25 to 35 mph. A peak gust hit 51 mph Monday at the Great Bend Airport. The Panthers took full advantage and pressured Liberal time-after-time with solid ball possession and pin-point passing.
Panther attackers Francisco Garcia and creative genius Jaime Arellanes helped Great Bend gain several quality scoring opportunities. Garcia blasted one shot off the post and Flores' deflected Garcia's hardest shot at the 15:30 mark. Garcia had shots on goal saved at the 14-minute mark and the 11-minute mark.
The Panthers' best-quality shot off a pass was delivered by Simon Hernandez, who lofted a creative pass to Garcia, but his header was saved by Flores. Humberto Alonzo, Johnathan Pasos and Rogelio Arias also delivered quality shots. Simon Hernandez delivered several quality assists.
Liberal (12-3-1, 6-0-1) scored two goals after halftime. Kevin Guerrero fed Estevan Dominquez for Liberal's first goal at the 36:45 mark. David Arroyo blasted a free kick past goalie Daniel Cervantes at the 35:46 mark.
Stout Great Bend defender Luis Zamarripa gained valuable field position by swinging the ball from defense to offense with several strong offensive runs. Christian Ruiz missed Great Bend's best shot and Arellenas dodged several defenders to set up another strong offensive run.
The Panthers went down, but battled to the finish. The Panthers will stage Senior Night Thursday at Cavanaugh Field against McPherson.
Liberal 6-0-1 11-3-1
Dodge City 6-1 12-3
Garden City 3-4-1 7-8-1
Great Bend 3-5 8-7
Hays High 0-8 3-12-1
Liberal 2, Great Bend 0
Garden City 10, Hays-TMP 1
McPherson at Great Bend
Dodge City at Liberal
Hays High at Hays-TMP
LIBERAL (11-3-1, 6-0-1)—Titan Classic (W Wichita Carroll 1-0; L Derby 2-0; L Dodge CIty 2-3, OT); W *Great Bend 2-0; W Dodge City 3-1; W Garden City 3-0; W Lamar, Colo. 10-0; W Hays-TMP 10-0; W *Hays High 8-0; TIE *Garden City 0-0, OT; W *Hays High 7-0; Wichita North Cup (W Wichita North 1-0; W 5-0 Wichita Trinity; L Wichita Heights 0-1); W *Great Bend 2-0; 10-24—*Dodge City
DODGE CITY (12-3, 6-1)—Titan Classic (W Wichita East 3-1; L Wichita Heights 3-4, OT; W Liberal 3-2, OT); W Wichita South 9-1; W Lamar, Colo. 9-1; L *Liberal 1-3; W *Hays 4-0; W *Garden City 1-0; W *Great Bend 4-3; W *Garden City 5-0; W *Hays High 10-0; L St. Thomas Aquinas 0-4; W *Great Bend 4-1; W SM South 2-1; W Lawrence Free State 3-0; 10-24—*at Liberal
GARDEN CITY (7-8-1, 3-4-1)—Titan Classic (L Maize 3-4, OT; W Wichita NW 4-3; W Hays 3-1); *W Hays 2-1; W TMP 10-0; *L Liberal 0-3; L *Dodge City 0-1; W *Hays High 3-1; W *Great Bend 3-0; L *Dodge City 0-5; TIE *Liberal 0-0, OT; L *Great Bend 0-1; Wichita North Cup (L Wichita East 1-2; L Wichita Trinity 0-1, Wichita North 0-2); W TMP 10-1
GREAT BEND (8-7, 3-5)—Titan Classic (L Wichita Southeast 2-3; W Wichita South 4-1; W Wichita West 6-0); W Salina Central 4-0; L *Liberal 0-2; W *Hays 4-0; L Manhattan 1-2, OT; W *Hays 2-0; L *Dodge City 3-4; L *Garden City 0-3; W Hays-TMP 10-0; W *Garden City 1-0; W Wichita Independent 11-1; L *Dodge City 1-4; L *Liberal 0-2; 10-24—McPherson
HAYS HIGH (2-12-1, 0-8)—W Wichita Independent 4-1; L Classical 1-2; Titan Classic (L Salina Central 0-3; W Circle 10-0; L Garden City 1-3); L *Garden City 1-3; L *Great Bend 0-4; L *Dodge City 0-4; L *Great Bend 0-2; L Buhler 0-5; L *Garden City 1-2; TIE Junction City 0-0, OT; L *Liberal 0-8; L *Dodge City 0-10; L *Liberal 0-7; 10-24—at TMP
5A WEST RECORDS
Andover Central 15-0; Goddard Eisenhower 14-0-1; Maize South 13-2; McPherson 13-2; Emporia 10-4; Wichita Kapaun-Mt. Carmel 10-6; Maize High 7-5-3; Great Bend 8-7; Wichita Carroll 6-8-2; Andover High 6-8-1; Salina South 6-8-1; Salina Central 5-8-1; Valley Center 5-10; Newton 4-10-1; Goddard 4-11; Arkansas City 3-12; Hays High 2-12-1; Wichita Northwest 2-13-1
PROJECTED 5A BRACKET
1—Arkansas City vs. Hays High; Andover Central vs. Arkansas City/Hays High winner; Great Bend vs. Wichita Carroll
2—Goddard vs. Wichita Northwest; Goddard Eisenhower vs. Goddard/Wichita Northwest winner; Maize High vs. Andover High/Salina South
3—Maize South vs. Newton; Wichita Kapaun-Mt. Carmel vs. Andover/Salina South
4—McPherson vs. Valley Center; Emporia vs. Salina Central