SALINA — When McPherson High soccer coach Chris Adrian was walking off the field Tuesday night after a 3-0 win over Winfield, he already was talking about the Thursday rematch with Salina South, which had humbled his team 5-0 in the semifinals of the Maize South Invitational the previous week.
“I can’t wait. I want this game so bad,” Adrian said. “I know we can play with this team.”
Not only did the Bullpups play with Class 5A’s second-ranked team that started Thursday with an unblemished 6-0 record, but they avenged the earlier loss with a gutty 2-1 victory.
Andric McGill scored two MHS goals in the first half as it led 2-0 and the Bullpup defense never allowed the Cougars to get the equalizer after they tallied in the second half. Patrick Munsey and Kaden Warren were credited with assists.
The Bullpups improved to 6-1 on the year against a South team that had not been close to being challenged.
“This was the response I wanted to see from the players after being embarrassed by Salina 5-0 only seven days ago,” an ebullient Adrian said. “Credit goes to the players who left every ounce of energy they had on the field. We have been preparing for this game all week and the players executed the plan amazingly. We felt Salina might come in a little overconfident after our last game, so we wanted to get up on them early which is exactly what we did.”
Adrian said the Bullpups were the ones who were able to apply the pressure this time.
“The combination play of Patrick, Jose (Arriola) and Andric was great tonight,” Adrian said. “They were working together extremely well and gave Salina lots of problems in the first half.
Up 2-0, Adrian knew South wouldn’t go quietly into the night.
“The second half was a completely different game,” Adrian said. “Salina came out in full attack mode and put our defense under constant pressure, but our backline would not give in. Sam Minnick had an amazing game. He saved a PK with about 20 minutes left in the half and then pulled off a couple more tremendous saves. The defensive energy was amazing, players were flying all over sacrificing their bodies for the team blocking shot after shot. This is a huge win for the team and something we can definitely build off of. We attacked and defended as a team and when we do that we look so much stronger.”
The MHS JVs once again tied, just as they did on Tuesday against Winfield. Jackson Lloyd scored the two MHS goals in the 2-2 deadlock, with Connor Williams coming up with an assist.
The Bullpups reach the halfway point of their regular season on Tuesday when they play at Augusta. They return home on Thursday to take on arch-rival Hutchinson.