Lady Buffs win 5th straight WAC golf title; boys soccer fights wind to blank Liberal
By BRETT MARSHALL
The Garden City Lady Buffaloes' golf team can now count it as a handful of Western Athletic Conference golf championships.
On Tuesday at Stone Ridge Golf Course in Great Bend, the Lady Buffs made it five straight season wins in the WAC, and in the process made it five consecutive WAC championships, dating back to the 2009 season.
In the process, senior Abbi Shaddix repeated as the WAC Player of the Year by shooting a 40 for the 9-hole event on a day that had blustery wind conditions creating havoc and high scores for most of the field.
"It was really windy and it seems like we've had several tournaments in the wind this season," coach Melinda Base said. "The course is such that the ball rolls further there, and it has in-course out of bounds, which always creates a big worry for us. It's a great win for us."
The Lady Buffs finished the 9-hole event with a 181 total, counting their low four scores — Shaddix with a 40, which was low for the day; Lindsay Bradstreet with a 45, second; Danielle Gaspar and Megan Steward with 48's, placing fourth and fifth; Hannah Leiker with a 51, good for 10th; and Maddie Gerber with a 56.
With the event completing the WAC season, league honors were handed out, and in addition to Shaddix' second-straight individual POY award, Steward (3rd), Bradstreet (4th) and Gaspar (5th), each made the all-WAC first team.
"It's a positive motivator for us and a confidence booster," Base said. "All the younger girls have improved and continue to impress me. We're to the point where when we play well we have a good chance to shoot a good team score."
The Lady Buffs will compete in the upcoming Monday Class 6A regional at Carey Park Golf Course in Hutchinson. A top-three team finish will advance the Lady Buffs to the Oct. 21 state tournament, which will be hosted by GCHS at Buffalo Dunes Golf Course. In addition, the next five lowest individuals on a non-qualifying team will earn berths into the state meet.
At Liberal, the Garden City High School boys soccer team won another key Western Athletic Conference test, blanking the Redskins 2-0.
The game, played in high wind conditions (30 mph with gusts to 40 mph), was a battle of halves.
The Buffs had to play into the teeth of the wind in the first half and managed to keep the game scoreless.
"We held them in the first half, and then in the second half we were able to make some good passes and get the goals," head coach Joaquin Padilla said. "It was just difficult conditions for everyone."
Junior Eric Barragan scored both goals for the Buffs (6-3, 4-1), getting the first on a pass from David Fuentes in the 65th minute, and then icing the game with another goal in the 76th minute on a pass from David Amaro.
"The games just get bigger and bigger," Padilla said of the WAC battle. The Buffs have three games remaining in the league — two with Hays and Thursday's home match with Great Bend, a 5:30 test on the pitch. "I thought we played better here than we have in the past, but we'll have to step it up higher for Great Bend."
The Buffs finished with nine shots compared to five for Liberal. Israel Reyes had five saves in net for the Buffs.
Garden City 0 2 -- 2
Liberal 0 0 -- 0
GC--Barragan, assist Fuentes, 65th minute.
GC--Barragan, assist Amaro, 76th minute.
Shots--Garden City 9, Liberal 5. Saves--Garden City (Reyes 5), Liberal (Alonzo, Lopez 6 total). Corner kicks--Garden City 3, Liberal 8.