A late goal from senior forward Oscar Torres gave the Great Bend High School boys’ soccer team a 3-2 lead and eventual win over Western Athletic Conference opponent Dodge City.
However, the Panthers defense was able to keep the Demons out of the net on back-to-back corner kicks with less than one minute remaining to preserve the lead at Cavanaugh Field on Thursday.
GBHS advances its record to 6-1 overall, 3-1 in the WAC.
Panther head coach Gus Prieto said that going 6-1 to open the season is one of the best varsity starts that he can remember.
“Well it is incredible,” Gus Prieto said. “When we started the season, I knew we had a good team. I have worked with these kids for six years. They’ve been playing together for six years. I know they can play together.
“We are really good right now. We are 6-1, but we have a lot of games (left). Now, we are enjoying it. We have a strong team.”
Torres put in the game-winner with eight minutes, 36 seconds remaining in the game, getting a loft pass from senior midfielder Noel Rodriguez that got over the defense.
Torres beat Dodge City goalkeeper Alex Rodela, shooting low to the corner of the goal.
“The adrenaline knowing that I scored the game-winning goal,” Torres said. “We have never even beat Dodge City in about five years, and we finally did it. I was just happy that we did it. I couldn’t have done it without Noel.”
The game went back and forth with the Panthers taking six shots on goal and the Demons taking four.
GBHS forward Michael Prieto got the scoring started at the 12:50 mark in the first half. He received a pass inside the penalty box for a one-on-one with Rodela, maneuvering around the Demons goalie and shooting into the open net.
With 4:30 remaining in the first half, the Demons answered. Vincente Estrella got a crossing pass at the edge of the penalty box and made a shot to the far corner of the goal, beating Panthers goalkeeper Ramon Garcia.
Junior midfielder Jose Mijares gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead with a goal at the 32:13 mark in the second half, taking his shot from the top of the penalty box.
Dodge City scored a second equalizer with 25:32 remaining in the game when Rene Rodriguez lofted a long shot over the reach of Panthers goalkeeper Claudio Sanchez, who took over in front of the net in the second half.
Great Bend hosts Manhattan on Saturday with the junior varsity game starting at 11 a.m.