McPherson High’s soccer team proved here Thursday that it doesn’t have to score a slew of goals to be successful.
The high-scoring Bullpups were limited to just one goal by arch-rival Hutchinson, but that left-footed line drive that resembled a 2-iron by Patrick Munsey stood up in a 1-0 victory.
“Our defense played really well that game,” MHS coach Chris Adrian said. “To allow only one shot on goal... even in the second half when we went up one goal we played really good. Just solid. (Goalie) Sam (Minnick) didn’t really have anything open to have to save.”
MHS now takes an 8-1 record into Tuesday’s showdown of mega-powers in Rose Hill. The Rockets are ranked No. 1 in Class 4-1A, while the Bullpups are No. 3.
MHS also extracted a proverbial thorn from its side as Hutchinson has been an obstacle the Bullpups hadn’t been able to hurdle.
“Hutch is the only team these juniors and seniors haven’t beaten during the regular season,” Adrian said. “Every other team at some point over the last three years, this senior and junior class has beaten. Hutch always, always gives us a good game. If I could play 16 games against Hutch during the regular season, I would. That would be so good for us. They raise our level of play, they makes us play smart soccer. They’re such a good team, a well-coached team. They don’t give you anything out there.”
The Bullpups controlled the action most of the game, but it wasn’t until 15 minutes to go that they dented the scoreboard. Devin Cape made a pass to Munsey, who let it rip with the velocity of an Aroldis Chapman fastball.
“It was a great build-up play that we’ve been practicing on and working on,” Adrian said. “The ball to Jose (Arriola) who leaves it to an outside back (Cape) overlapping, who plays it through to Patrick. That’s a pattern we have been practicing for weeks and weeks.”
The Bullpups celebrated this one only briefly because the Rose Hill game should be the headliner in Kansas next week.
“That’s easy (to get up for),” Adrian said. “That’s the game of our season right there. That’s the one that will decide a lot (rankings, seedings, etc.). Our guys are excited.”
The MHS JVs were in dire straits, but Mitch Harger came to the rescue to earn the Bullpups a 2-2 tie. Down 2-0, Harger scored a pair of goals, with one of them assisted by Lorenzo Cornelius.