The Great Bend Middle School soccer team thrived on a 95-degree day with a hard-fought 3-1 victory over Garden City Ken Henderson Middle School April 12 at Cavanaugh Field. The heat was accompanied by 30 mph winds from the southwest.
Great Bend’s Juan Sanchez scored on a penalty shot and Mario Arias followed with a goal in a physical and fast-paced first half. Garden City converted goal helped by the advantage of the wind. With one minute left in the game, Panther Johnathan Pasos scored for a 3-1 victory.
“It was great to get a victory over a well-organized Garden City group,” said Great Bend coach Jesus Loera, Jr. “We worked on being more creative when approaching the attacking third of the field. The boys executed the plan well allowing us to score three goals. The week leading up to the game we talked about creating more scoring opportunities.”
Loera was pleased with the defensive effort.
“Defensively, we are holding up — allowing one goal per game. If we continue to improve offensively, we will be able to compete at a higher level. Overall, we are progressing at a good rate, but we still have to improve to ensure that we get into the MSWAC tournament.”
Garden City won the B game 2-1 after the Panthers led 1-0. Loera said the team continues to show impressive progress.
“This group of young men is a great example of what hard work will do in terms of improvement,” Loera said. “The first two games we struggled to create scoring opportunities. Today, we were able to score first and hold the lead until halftime. The way we have been able to play our position has allowed the team to be more competitive and keep the games within reach. We are showing the confidence that hard work brings and apply it to the game.”