Garden City Buffaloes
Hays holds off Garden City, 2-0 in WAC match
By KEVIN THOMPSON
Things didn't go too well for the Lady Buffaloes on senior night Monday, as they dropped a key Western Athletic Conference soccer matchup to the Hays High Indians, 2-0.
Just two weeks ago, Garden City dropped a 1-0 decision at Hays and was looking for a modicum of revenge against its league rivals.
But Hays proved to be a bit taller, quicker and more in synch, as the Indians kept the Buffaloes in check all evening.
Hays' lone first-half goal came in the 14th minute, when Alexa Brull kicked high and center. Garden City goalkeeper Ashley Richman got a piece of the shot, but the ball hit the top of the crossbar and ricocheted in.
April Johnson netted Hays' (11-2, 7-0 WAC) second goal in the 61st minute, hitting the top right corner of the net from 20 yards out.
Garden City (5-5-1, 3-2-1) had two quick corner kicks just five minutes after Hays' first goal, but could not convert, which seemed to energize the Lady Indians even more than their goal.
That's two close losses this year, and it left junior Maria Rodriguez pondering why.
"I'm not sure what it is. Maybe it's how they took WAC away from us last year," she said. "But we're always trying to give it our best."
The fact they were only down by one at halftime was a positive for Buffs coach Joaquin Padilla. The fact the were out-shot 12-4, however, was not. It wasn't how his team planned things.
"We thought we had an advantage because of the turf," he said.
Padilla felt that his Buffaloes dominated Hays for the first 20 minutes, but then Brull's goal shifted momentum to the visitors.
"The second half, we played pretty even. We had some chances," he said. "We just couldn't finish."
Freshman goalkeeper Richman did a good job keeping Garden City in the game, stopping 18 of 20 shots.
"Game by game, she's gotten better," Padilla said. "She's the one who's saving us, and I hope she continues."
The defense continues to play well, too, he added. They just need to work on finishing.
Garden City travels to Wichita three times this week in the North Cup tournament, then plays at Dodge City and Liberal next week.
Rodriguez said they need to learn from the tough feeling after this loss and turn it into a positive.
"We need to try to do better next time," she said.
Padilla feels confident they can win those five games, get to 10 wins, and host a playoff game or two.
"We just need to go back and see what we did well at the beginning of the season," he said. "We'll get through this. We're a young team. Right now, we'll just play one at a time."
Hays 2, Garden City 0
Hays 1 1 -- 2
Garden City 0 0 -- 0
Hays — Alexa Brull, 14th minute
Hays-- April Johnson, 61st minute
Keepers-- Hays (Laura Truman) , Garden City (Ashley Richman). Shots on goal--Hays 20, Garden City 12.
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