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Panthers rally for 3-2 soccer victory
Arellanes scores game-winner
Great Bend's Jaime Arellanes defeats Salina Central defenders and attacks the goalie box then takes a shot at goal. - photo by Hugo Gonzalez

Great Bend vs Silina Central - 2020 Soccer Regional Championship

By: Hugo Gonzalez

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SALINA — Great Bend sparkplug Jaime Arellanes ignited the Panthers' soccer comeback with his first goal. His game-winning second goal off a hustling play delivered a stunning 3-2 regional championship over Salina Central Thursday.

A 2-2 tie appeared headed for overtime when Arellanes sprinted from midfield and rocketed a goal past Mustang goalie Grant Sheppard in the top right corner to trigger a lively celebration with 4:17 in regulation. Panther Alex Galindo tipped a perfect pass to Arellanes who stepped past Mustang defenders Collister Ryan and Jesus Contreras.

"That's my favorite goal I've ever scored," Arellanes said. "I got past my first defender and saw open field from there. I finished it off." 

Panther Alex Galindo made a perfect centering pass to Arellanes, who beat goalie Sheppard (23:21) for a 2-1 score halfway through the second half. Jonathan Pasos created offensive pressure and a Mustang defender kicked the soccer ball past his own goalie (19:45) for a 2-2 tie. 

"This is definitely one of the most exciting wins that I can remember for a regional championship, down 2-0," said Great Bend coach Jesus Loera. "Our guys played well. We stayed composed and held together."

The Mustangs (6-9-1) were in total control with a dominating 2-0 halftime margin. 

"That first goal gave us confidence going forward to get going," Arellanes said. "We regrouped at halftime and told each other we wanted to keep playing."

The Panthers used teamwork and established their quick-passing offense after halftime.

"Once we secured that first touch, our decisions were more effective and it gave us opportunities," Loera said. "Once we scored that first goal, we moved the ball better. We let that momentum feed us. That pressure was off of us."

The Panthers (7-9) plays at Maize High (15-2-1) at 6 p.m. in Tuesday's 5A state quarterfinals. Maize's Mikey Velasquez scored the game-winner in overtime and scored on a 40-yard free kick to spark the Eagles. Topher Cannizzo also scored for Maize. Maize South's Landon Eskridge scored two goals, one with 30 seconds left in regulation.      

Central's midfield dominated time of possession and dictated the first-half tempo. The Panthers failed to establish any offensive rhythm.

Liam Foley headed in a perfect thrown-in by Collister Ryan (32:40) for a quick 1-0 Mustang lead. Logan 

The Panthers missed their one golden opportunity when goalie Sheppard stopped a free kick from 24 yards out by Arellanes. Central's teamwork paid off when Logan Johnson scored off a nifty crossing pass from Avery Regier that Ricky Picasso tipped to Johnson for a 2-0 halftime lead (1:06).

"Central made everything difficult for us that first half," Loera said. "They kept us from building an attack. They keyed on our players and eliminated our offensive space."


Great Bend (7-9) 0 3 — 3

Salina Central (6-9-1) 2 0 — 2

FIRST HALF—SC—Liam Foley (Collister Ryan assist), 32:40; SC—Logan Johnson (Ricky Picasso assist), 1:06

SECOND HALF—GB—Jaime Arellanes (Alex Galindo assist), 23:21; GB—own goal, 19:45; GB—Arellanes, 4:17

GOALIES—SC—Grant Sheppard; GB—Edwin Chavez



Great Bend (7-9) at Maize High (15-2-1)

Andover Central (10-8) at Wichita Carroll (8-6-1)

Lansing (8-7-1) at Shawnee Heights (12-4-1)

Mill Valley (10-6-2) at St. Thomas Aquinas (12-3-3)

REG. 1—Salina Central 2, Hays High 1, OT (4-2 PK); Great Bend 3, Salina South 1; FINAL—Great Bend 3, Salina Central 2; Great Bend 7-9

REG. 2—Maize South 4, Goddard 2; Maize High 2, Goddard Eisenhower 0; FINAL—Maize High 3, Maize South 2, OT

REG. 3—Wichita Carroll 10, Arkansas City 0; Valley Center 2, Kapaun Mt. Carmel 0; FINAL—Wichita Carroll 4, Valley Center 0

REG. 4—Newton 3, Emporia 2, OT; Andover Central 1, Andover High 0, OT; FINAL—Andover Central 2, Newton 1

REG. 5—Shawnee Heights 5, Topeka West 2; Topeka Seaman 7, Highland Park 0; FINAL—Shawnee Heights 2, Topeka Seaman 1, OT

REG. 6—Lansing 3, Leavenworth 1; Basehor 3, KC Piper 0; FINAL—Lansing 3, Basehor 0

REG. 7—Lenexa St. James 10, Bonner Springs 0; St. James 1, KC Turner 0, forfeit; Mill Valley 1, DeSoto 0; FINAL—Mill Valley 2, St. James 0

REG. 8—Spring Hill 2, Pittsburg 0; St. Thomas Aquinas 3, Blue Valley Southwest 1; FINAL—Aquinas 1, Spring Hill 0

GBHS soccer champs 2020.jpg
Great Bend Panthers are the 2020 regional champions. - photo by Hugo Gonzalez