Garden boys’ soccer rallies past Heights

GCHS Athletics
Garden City High School's David Hernandez, left, leaps in the air to move the ball upfield away from Wichita Heights Toller Phipps Monday at Buffalo Stadium.

Win improves Buffaloes record to 8-3

The first half of Monday’s non-conference soccer match at home against Wichita Heights didn’t go exactly the way Garden City High School boys’ soccer coach Jose Vital Caro had hoped.

That’s because he saw his Buffs continue their recent scoring struggles and trailed visiting Wichita Heights 1-0 late in the opening 40 minutes of action. But a penalty kick by Roger Benitez in the 40th minute (9:43 remaining) knotted the score and that's how it stood at intermission.

Vital Caro's short halftime speech allowed the Buffs to regroup and they responded with two second-half goals to produce a 3-1 triumph over the Falcons at Buffalo Stadium. In the process, they improved their season record to 8-3 overall.

Heights scored its lone goal in the 25th minute to take that 1-0 lead before things started looking up for the Buffs.

Garden City High School's Roger Benitez makes a penalty kick with 9:43 left in the first half to give the Buffaloes their first goal Monday against Wichita Heights at Buffalo Stadium.

It wouldn’t be until the 65th minute, however, that the Buffaloes took the lead for good on a Bryant Tamayo long-range goal. Garden City got their other insurance goal in the 74th minute from Alex Macias on a short shot.

Garden’s offense produced 13 shots on goal compared to six for Heights. Jonathan Hernandez and Aiden Para filled in for the injured Daniel Zamaripa in goal for the Buffs, with Hernandez saving four Falcon shots and Para one.

The Buffs got little rest as they travelled  to Liberal on Tuesday for a Western Athletic Conference battle with the Redskins. The Buffs currently stand 4-2 in the WAC with two games remaining but trail No. 1-ranked and unbeaten Dodge City by two games, the only losses suffered in WAC play by the Buffs.

Following Tuesday’s road test at Liberal, the Buffs will return home on Thursday to host Great Bend in their final WAC contest. 

The varsity will be on the pitch at approximately 6:30 p.m. following the 5 p.m. junior varsity match at Buffalo Stadium. It will be the final regular-season home match and will be Senior Night. 

The Buffaloes will compete Oct. 11-14-16 at the Wichita North Tournament to cap off the regular season, before postseason play begins the last week of October.

BOYS SOCCER 2021 SCHEDULE/RESULTS

Aug. 31—HAYS (W2-0); Sept. 6-9-11—at Goddard Tournament (Buhler, W5-4PK; Goddard, L4-2); Rose Hill (W, 3-0); Sept. 14—at Hays-Thomas More Prep (W10-0); Sept. 16—LIBERAL (W3-2); Sept. 21—at Dodge City (L1-0, OT); Sept. 23—at Hays (W5-0); Sept. 28—at Great Bend (W, 2-1); Sept. 30—DODGE CITY (L, 3-0); Oct. 4—WICHITA HEIGHTS (W, 3-1); Oct. 5—at Liberal; Oct. 7—GREAT BEND; Oct. 11-14-16—at Wichita North Tournament; Oct. 26—Class 6A Regional quarterfinals; Oct. 28—Class 6A Regional finals; Nov. 2—Class 6A State Quarterfinals; Nov. 5-6—Class 6A State Semifinals and Finals/College Boulevard Activity Center, Olathe.