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Panther soccer loses Senior Night heartbreaker, 1-0
'KSHSAA rule' excludes Panthers from postseason
Diego Sanchez.jpg


A pep band and a friendly home crowd sparked a rare intensity for the pink-clad Great Bend Panthers on Soccer Senior Night at Cavanaugh Field. 

For 80 minutes, Great Bend's soccer players delivered their best performance of the season in a hard-fought 1-0 loss to McPherson. McPherson's Hayden Hoxie scored a goal off a free kick (16:29) created by a Panther foul. Hoxie's kick easily missed the Panthers' 4-player defensive wall when he fired the shot to the west side of the goal.

"It was our most complete game. To say it was our best game of the year is fair," said Great Bend coach Chuy Loera. "I'm happy with our guys. Our execution was better. We made it happen rather than talking about it. We made it competitive and exciting."

Panther goalie Eli Contreras made several dazzling saves against attacks by Hoxie. Defenders Pedro Enriguez, Marcos Castanon, Angelo Breitenbach and Diego Sanchez helped Contreras.

"We made them work. Our defending was excellent because we didn't give up anything easy," Loera said. "All season, we'd given up too many easy goals."

Panther forwards Alex Alonzo, Ramiro Rocho and Alex Alcala provided several promising offensive runs. Alcala's shot towards the goal was deflected by McPherson's Aidan Wheaton, but goalie Gabriel Standfast saved the shutout with a diving catch. 

Sadly, thanks to a KSHSAA decision to exclude teams, the Panthers (2-13-1, 0-8) will be eliminated from postseason play before it starts.

Loera questioned why teams would be excluded from postseason play. One year, the Panthers defeated Salina Central, Newton and Salina South to qualify for the 5A state quarterfinals against Maize South from the play-in round.

"They did away with the play-in game outside the top 16," Loera said. "That was our last game. The play-in games went away."


Dodge City 7–1 15–1

Liberal 4–2–2 9–4–3

Hays High 4–3–1 9–6–1

Garden City 3–4–1 10–4–2

Great Bend 0–8 2–13-1

10-19–McPherson 1, Great Bend 0; Hays High 2, Wichita Classical 0; *Liberal 4, Dodge City 2; Garden City 2, Wichita North 0

10-17–*Liberal 7, Great Bend 0; *Dodge City, 4, Garden City 0

10-14–Dodge City 4, Olathe East 1; Liberal 3, Blue Valley 1

10-13–Dodge City 8, Blue Valley 0; Olathe East 2, Liberal 1 

10-12–Great Bend 1, Junction City 1; *Hays 2, Garden City 1

10-10–*Dodge City 10, Great Bend 0; Wichita Trinity 2, Hays 1