HAYS — The Garden City boys soccer team scored the lone goal midway through the second half and held on for a shutout in Tuesday’s season opener at Hays High, posting a 1-0 victory over the Indians.
Htoo Htoo came through with the goal and the Buffaloes survived a couple close calls in the final minutes with goalkeeper Jose Betanco preserving the shutout.
“I thought it would have been a little bit cleaner,” Buffaloes’ coach Joaquin Padilla said. “It was kind of a physical game. They kind of took us off our game a little bit. But at the end of the day, we got the win. It doesn’t matter if you win 8-0 or 1-0, at the end of the day it counts. But we have some things to clean up.”
Htoo Htoo’s goal was set up by an assist from Salvador Bustos.
“Our left winger got in pretty deep and he sent a nice ball across to Htoo Htoo. He hit it the first time, and just cracked there in the upper 90 on the right side,” Padilla said. “It was a nice goal.”
Hays nearly answered but came up empty on a few late opportunities, including a header from Jacob Maska that went off the post.
“We controlled possession a lot,” Padilla said. “Most of their attacks were on our mistakes. That No. 13 (Hays’ Trae McCrae) is very physical. Anything in our middle third to attacking third is like a corner or a set piece for him. He’s awesome at throwing those long throw-ins.
“We've just got to clean a few things up. But hats off to (Hays). They’re always tough here. They’re well-coached (Silas Hibbs) and organized. Their kids are very vocal, they shift together and they did a good job today.”
Up next, the Buffaloes will face Buhler in the Goddard tournament on Tuesday.