SALINA — From a mental standpoint, this was a game McPherson High’s soccer team needed.
The Bullpups had been coming up empty recently against the higher-tier teams on their schedule, but Tuesday an explosion by Andric McGill propelled them to a 4-1 road victory over Class 5A school Salina Central.
McGill, who had been quiet in recent games, flashed his early season form by scoring each of the four goals, two of them unassisted, while Jose Arriola and Kento Aizawa provided the passes for the others.
MHS was coming off a desultory 6-0 loss, one that coach Chris Adrian was none-too-pleased with, but he changed his tune after the team improved to 10-3.
“It felt good to get a win and put that Dodge City game behind us,” Adrian said. “Salina is a young, solid team. The boys gave a better effort in this game, but in the first half we struggled to control the ball. We played much better in the second half and spread their defense out with our passing, which gave us time and space to work.”
McGill was the headliner, but Adrian was quick to point out that several players contributed to a team victory.
“Andric had a great game scoring four goals. They simply couldn’t keep up with him when he had time on the ball,” Adrian said. “My two captains, Patrick (Munsey) and Jeremy (Krehbiel), really led by example in this game and showed the fight and intensity we want to be known for as a team. Jose Arriola also deserves a shoutout. He played extremely hard leading the front line and has been a great leader on the field lately.”
The game ended an exhausting four-game road trip for MHS as it now comes home on Thursday to take on Valley Center. The typical early game times for Thursday applies, as the JVs play at 4 p.m., the varsity at 5:30.
Speaking of the JVs, the Bullpups tied 1-1. Connor Williams came up with the goal.