During a season in which there have been many close calls en route to a 9-5 record, the Garden City Buffaloes boys soccer team has escaped several times with narrow victories.
The same has beset them in several tough losses, but in Wednesday’s 5-0 shutout at the hands of host Wichita North in the semifinals of the North Cup, it was a combination of the offense not capitalizing, and the defense not able to come up with saves on the back line and in goal.
“We’ve had trouble with scoring goals all season, and it was the same today,” said GCHS head coah Joaquin Padilla. “We had our opportunities, but couldn’t get the ball in the net. They had opportunities and our people couldn’t stop their shots.”
The Buffs fell behind early, trailing 1-0 after the Redskins’ first goal in the ninth minute. It would become 2-0 in the 25th minute on a free kick and then 3-0 in the 29th minute.
After halftime, the Buffs settled in and played better defense, Padilla said, but did give up two goals, one in the 64th minute and another free kick score in the 67th minute.
The Buffs managed just nine shots, well below their norm, while North was able to get off only seven, but made good on five of those. Francisco Beceril saved three other potential scores by North while the Redskins’ keeper, Colton Rothwell, had four saves.
In their previous four setbacks, the Buffs had lost three times by two goals and once by a single tally.
With Liberal’s 3-2 loss to Wichita East in the other semifinal match, the two Western Athletic Conference teams will now play for third place on Saturday.
At press time, Padilla said the consolation game would likely be played on Saturday at Buffalo Stadium, but a start time for the pitch had not been determined. An announcement is expected to be made on Thursday.