By RICK PETERSON
Hayden's soccer team had to wait a couple extra days to make its season debut, with Monday's scheduled opener postponed due to COVID-19 protocols at Ottawa.
But the Wilcats quickly made up for lost time, opening up a 3-0 lead on the way to a 3-1 win over Centennial League rival Topeka High Wednesday at Hayden.
"We were all ready to play Monday and just get that first game in,'' said Hayden junior standout Jake Muller, who had a two goals and an assist in the Wildcat victory. "We've been practicing for so long and it's exciting to play, so when that game was canceled it was tough, but we were ready for today.''
Muller got Hayden on the board at the 16:23 mark of the opening half off an assist by junior Chris Hayes, the lone goal of the first half.
The Wildcats then put the game away with two goals within 16 seconds of each other early in the second half.
Muller scored at the 34:39 mark off a pass from junior Nick Padilla and then Muller found Hayes for Hayden's final goal at the 34:23 mark.
"I thought we played really good,'' Muller said. "We still have stuff to work on, but I thought our effort was there.''
Hayden coach Klaus Kreutzer agreed.
"It was good,'' Kreutzer said. "We had a couple of surprises and I've got those guys up top for a reason, they really have good speed.''
Topeka High, which was playing its second game in as many days, scored its first goal of the year with 7:07 remaining, with senior Zaka Blocker scoring off an assist from freshman Chris Brown, but it was too little, too late as the Trojans fell to 0-2.
"The second half we played with much more energy,'' Topeka High coach Derek Snook said. "I just don't know why we had to get down by three goals before we started doing that.
"Obviously we have to fix that and I can't give the boys energy. They have to come out with it themselves.''
HAYDEN 3, TOPEKA HIGH 1
Topeka High (0-2, 0-1) 0 1 -- 1
Hayden (1-0, 1-0) 1 2 -- 3
Topeka High -- Goal: Zaka Blocker. Assist: Chris Brown.
Hayden -- Goals: Jake Muller 2, Chris Hayes. Assists: Chris Hayes, Nick Padilla, Jake Muller.