Chris Adrian had mixed emotions here Thursday after his McPherson High soccer team pulled out a thrilling 3-2 victory over Valley Center.
On one hand, Adrian was pleased that his team improved to 11-3 heading into the final week of regular-season play.
However, he also believed that his team should never had needed a last-minute goal from Andric McGill to secure the win as it had let a 2-0 halftime lead get away.
“We had a chance to make it 3-0, 4-0 in the first half... as shaky as we are in the back right now, anyone can score on us unfortunately at this point,” Adrian said. “This was a valuable experience, but we’re better than that back there. We let panic get to us and we made a lot of weird mistakes, mistakes I hadn’t seen our team do all year.”
MHS had it all going its way early. Just 1:09 into the game, McGill was pulled down in the box and the result was a Patrick Munsey penalty kick and a 1-0 lead. Eight minutes later, McGill made it 2-0 and the Bullpups appeared to be on easy street.
Later in the half, Munsey was stopped on a great play by Hornet goalie Zach Quandt at the 12:13 mark just when it appeared it would be 3-0. Quandt again tormented the Bullpups when he turned away a potential second PK by Munsey with 3:56 left before intermission.
In the second half, the Hornets took advantage of the wind and the play of Jordan Gomez-Nix, who scored at the 22:20 mark to cut the lead in half, then nailed a 33-yarder with 4:27 to go to stun the Bullpups and the crowd as that deadlocked the game at 2-all.
However, MHS didn’t want it to go into extra time and the response was one of the best-executed goals of the year. Munsey started it with a pass to Jose Arriola, who then set up McGill. He took care of the rest as MHS escaped with the win.
“To come back and score after giving up two, when they have all the momentum going, that was a lot of grit and a good team goal there,” Adrian said.
The MHS JVs outshot Valley Center 8-1, but the only Hornet shot proved to be the game-winner in a 1-0 Valley victory.
MHS is home on Tuesday to play Circle.