So far this season, the Great Bend High School girls’ soccer team has started slow in games and built up steam going into the second half.
Maybe it was the turf field of Memorial Stadium or maybe it was renewed energy after playing 199 minutes between Thursday’s loss to Dodge City and Friday’s tie with Salina South, but something stirred in the Lady Panthers, who scored three goals in the first eight minutes on Monday against Thomas More Prep-Marian of Hays.
GBHS went on to win 8-1, making its record 5-5-2 overall this season.
“We are getting a little more aggressive,” GBHS head coach Gus Prieto said. “We were putting more pressure on them, and that’s why you can win a lot of balls. We missed a lot of chances to score today, maybe 10 or 15. It was a good game where everybody can play and rest for tomorrow.”
Prieto said that he played 18 girls in the game. Of the 18, six girls found the back of the net in the Lady Panthers’ offensive barrage.
“We usually play a little more defensive in the last 10 or 15 minutes, but right now, we know we can score,” Gus Prieto said. “So we put a little more pressure forward. We kept at least three forwards up all the time. All our midfielders, they were really strong today. They won all the balls (in the middle of the field) and that makes it easy.”
After the first half, which saw Jennifer Allende, Rubi Torres and Kaylee Kerschner score goals for Great Bend, the Lady Monarchs settled in and kept the Lady Panthers out of the goal until 15 minutes into the second half.
Sandra Hernandez, who scored two goals in the second half, won a loose ball after TMP-Marian’s goalie cleared the ball from the box and put a shot over the goalkeeper from 28 yards away.
Berenice Prieto, who also scored two goals in the second half, scored her first just one minute after Hernandez when she dribbled the ball into the goalie’s box and drilled a shot into the backside corner.
Judith Carrera also found the back of the net for the Lady Panthers when she got the ball inside the box and clipped the far corner of the goal past the goalkeeper.
The Lady Monarchs’ single goal came at the 32:47 mark in the second half.
On one of the few times that TMP-Marian was able to get inside Great Bend’s goalie’s box, Mallory Vesta committed a hand ball to give the Lady Monarchs a penalty kick.
“She was alone (on defense) almost the whole game and I don’t know if she was bored back there or what, but she tried to use her hands,” Gus Prieto said. “She was embarrassed after that happened.
“I told (Great Bend goalkeeper Stephanie Lomas), ‘you are probably not going to touch the ball in the second half because we are going to have the wind’ and then that happened.”