BY JIM MISUNAS
Great Bend's soccer coach Jesus Loera wanted his team to show steady progress against Maize South, last year's 5A state runner-up. The quick-striking Mavericks scored three goals in the first 17 minutes en route to a 6-0 non-league victory at Cavanaugh Field.
The Mavericks (7-0) feature a quality program that's advanced to the 5A championship game and 5A semifinals the past two years. Standout Raul Gerhardus scored two goals and Adam Dyer assisted on two goals. The Mavericks converted quickly whenever the Panthers gave them an opening.
"We knew Maize South was a quality soccer team. It took us a while to adjust to their speed," Loera said. "They capitalized whenever we made a mistake. Our inexperience showed at times."
Dyer fed Caden Wait a perfect pass at the 31:51 mark. Gerhardus headed a goal past Edwin Chavez off Wait's perfect centering pass at the 27:19 mark. Goalie Chavez gained a measure of revenge when he blocked a penalty kick by Gerhardus at the 24:51 mark. Brayden Figueroa converted Dyer's assist and Gerhardus scored again at the 13:37 mark of the first half for a 4-0 lead.
The Panthers' Jaime Arellenas provided several quality corner kicks and lofted a nifty lofted kick off a restart. Mario Arias had a quality attempt. But Maverick goalie Payton Simon was up to the task.
"Their goalie made several big saves," Loera said. "I was pleased we gained possession 40 percent of the time. We stayed composed and fought to the end. These guys have matured a lot as a soccer team. We need to be better when we got our scoring opportunities in their back third."
Great Bend (2-3) travels to Wichita Trinity at 12:30 p.m. Saturday before returning home Tuesday at Memorial Stadium against Hays High and Thursday against defending WAC champion Dodge City.
Maize South (7-0) 4 2 – 6
Great Bend (2-3) 0 0 – 0
MS–Caden Wait (Adam Dyer), 31:51; MS–Raul Gerhardus (Wait), 27:19; MS–Brayden Figueroa (Dyer), 23:04; MS–Gerhardus, 13:37
MS–Vitor Geromel (Gerhardus), 36:00; MS–Tatum Steinhoff (Peyton Wilson), 8:00
GOALIES–MS–Payton Simon; GB–Edwin Chavez