HURON — The Huron boys’ soccer team earned home game for the the Class AA playoffs by getting past Yankton 3-1 during its regular-season finale on Saturday at Tiger Stadium.
“I was really proud of the boys today. We were in a must-win-game situation to allow us to host the first round of the playoffs and they came out ready to go and got the job done,” Huron coach Leah Branaugh said. “We did a great job of possessing the ball and taking control of the game right away. The conditions during the game weren’t great, but we were able to time our runs and make good shots in the strong wind.”
Baht Khin had a pair of goals to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead in the opening half. The first came on a free kick in the 17th minute, with the second also coming on a free kick in the 31st minute.
Yankton would score its lone goal of the game three minutes later, slicing its deficit to 2-1 heading into the second half. Unfortunately for the Bucks, the switch to the other end of the field at the break took away the wind advantage for them and Huron goalie Rogelio Sanchez Perez was able to hold them scoreless during the final 40 minutes.
“I thought our goalie did a great job and saved some great shots, especially with the wind moving the ball around so much,” Branaugh said. “We also had to play a man down for about 15 minutes of the second half, due to a red card, and I thought the boys all stepped it up to hold on to win for the team.”
Kler Hae scored the lone goal of the second half for the Tigers on a pass from Eduardo Trujillo in the 60th minute.
Sanchez Perez finished with eight saves to earn the win in the net for Huron, which improved to 7-5.
The Tigers clinched the No. 8 seed in the Class AA playoffs for the Tigers. They will host No. 9-seed Sioux Falls Lincoln in the opening round at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Tiger Stadium.
In other opening round games Tuesday, top-seeded Sioux Falls Washington (10-0-2) hosts No. 16 Mitchell (2-10-1); No. 4 Sioux Falls O’Gorman (7-3-3) hosts No. 13 Aberdeen Central (6-5-1); No. 5 Spearfish (11-2-1) hosts No. 12 Yankton (6-6-1); No. 2 Sioux Falls Roosevelt (8-1-2) hosts No. 15 Pierre (2-8-2); No. 7 Rapid City Central (7-3-2) hosts No. 10 Watertown (7-6); No. 3 Brandon Valley (9-2-2) hosts No. 14 Brookings (4-6-2); and No. 6 Rapid City Stevens (6-2-3) hosts No. 11 Sturgis (10-4).
The second round of the Class AA playoffs is scheduled for Saturday.
In the junior varsity matchup on Saturday, Yankton edged Huron 2-1.
Tah Hey Lawla Htoo had the goal for the Tigers, while Nick Weir had four saves.
“The JV had a great season. They finish their season at 5-3-2,” Branaugh said. “They played well each game and really have something great to build on for the future.”