Things didn’t quite happen as planned for the Great Bend High School boys’ soccer team.
The Panthers are not the No. 1 seed in the Class 5A regional tournament.
That privilege went to Kapaun-Mt. Carmel, which finished with an identical record to GBHS at 13-3.
The deciding factor was a coin flip, according to Great Bend head coach Gus Prieto.
Today, as the No. 2 seed in the regional tournament, Great Bend hosts Andover at Cavanaugh Field at 6 p.m. to open postseason play.
“My boys are ready,” Gus Prieto said. “Last year, they were young. We had only one senior. This year, it is different. Now, we have one more year of experience. My players are strong now.”
Andover is 5-10-1 overall this season, but Gus Prieto said that his team can’t write anyone off in the postseason.
“I watched videos of them,” Gus Prieto said. “They have a few good players. We have a better record, and we play better teams, but this is going to be a different game. The loser goes home, so you don’t know how they’ll play.
“Everyone will be going 100 percent. We need to be ready. We have to start strong and end strong.”
Senior Oscar Torres leads his team with 16 goals this season.
Fellow senior Noel Rodriguez and junior Alexander Urias are tied in second with 13.
Michael Prieto has scored nine goals and Enrique Guyton has seven goals this season.
“Oscar and Noel are seniors,” Gus Prieto said. “The others are juniors. Michael is younger, and he’s still learning. The others are bigger, stronger then they were last year. They have the strength and the body to fight.”
The Panthers have scored 66 goals this season, while only allowing 31, thanks to senior goalkeeper Ramon Garcia and a solid defensive crew.
As far as scoring 66 goals this season, Gus Prieto credits his players having one year of experience playing together under their belts as the cause.
“I tell them, ‘you are a good team, but you have to play together.’” Gus Prieto said. “They understand that. Urias, Guyton and Michael have been playing on the same team for six years. They can play together. Oscar and Noel hadn’t played with them before last year.
“Last year, they started playing together, and now you can see that they can work together and score goals.”