Buffaloes grab late goal for win over TMP

GCHS Athletics
Garden City High School's Destiny Rojo, left, battles for control of the ball with TMP's Grace Pope Thursday at Buffalo Stadium in Garden City.

Mcgregor scores lone goal of game

It might not have been the most efficient or finely-tuned performance, but the Garden City High School girls’ soccer squad will take a win any way they can during a frenzied week of four games in six days.

That was the ending result Thursday on Senior Night at Buffalo Stadium when the Buffs got a goal from sophomore Marcayla Mcgregor in the 73rd minute to break a scoreless deadlock, leading the way to a 1-0 win over Thomas More Prep-Marian of Hays.

Mcgregor took a nifty pass from junior Destiny Rojo at about the 20-yard line, dribbled deep past the Monarch defenders and dribbled straight in and took a shot at the lower left side of the net. Monarch keeper Allison Applequist almost had the ball stopped, kneeling to block it, but the ball somehow scooted under her hands and between her legs and slowly rolled into the net for the only goal of the night.

Garden City High School's Anahi Castillo, right, gets a shot off to a teammate by the goal as TMP's Megan Hamel defends Thursday at Buffalo Stadium. The Monarchs' Mia Lang, left, is shown watching the play.

“Even though it was a bit frustrating to see our girls go out there on senior night and dominate frequently, but not score, I felt we played a marvelous game filled with possession and great ball plays and switched,” head coach Jose Vital-Caro said. “However, we had a rough time capitalizing on our finishing shots. It took us 73 minutes to score and that alone tells you we took a while to score.”

The victory snapped a three game losing streak dating back to April 20 and also broke a scoreless drought going back to the same 8-0 win over Great Bend. On Saturday, the Buffs will be back on the road to play a consolation game in the Wichita North Cup after falling 4-0 to Circle High on Tuesday in a quarterfinal contest.

In Thursday’s Senior Night, the three upperclass members of the team honored included Anahi Castillo, Jenny Monzon and Zuang Kee.

For much of the game, the ball was played in the offensive end of the Buffs. TMP, in fact, never had a shot on goal during the entire 80 minutes of play. The Buffs, meanwhile, took 11 shots with Monarch keeper Allison Applequist recording 6 saves.

“It’s great to dominate the game, but it’s worthless unless we can get the ball in the back of the net,” Vital-Caro said. “Thankfully, Destiny and Marcayla understood each other’s chemistry and were able to mix up the perfect ingredient pass for a goal.”

Garden City goalkeepers – Niera Calderon in the first half and Ledaly Enriquez in the second – had little work to do to defend the net.

The Buffs had a great opportunity to score twice earlier, unable to successfully execute a penalty kick when Castillo’s kick soared over the top of the crossbar. That came in the 58th minute and in the 71st minute, Mcgregor also missed on a direct kick when her shot went high above the net as well.

Then, Mcgregor was able to slip past the Monarch defenders, who had four on the back line all night, and then take on Applequist 1-on-1. It wasn’t by much, but Mcgregor won the battle, and eventually sealed the deal as TMP never made a serious offensive threat during the remaining nine minutes.

TMP-Marian saw its season record fall to 8-6.

TMP-Marian 0 0 -- 0

Garden City 0 1 -- 1

Second Half

GC—Marcayla Mcgregor, unassisted goal, 73rd minute.

Shots on goal—TMP 0, Garden City 11. Saves—TMP (Applequist 6), GC (Calderon 0, Enriquez 0).