SALINA — For some players, scoring four goals constitutes a season.
For McPherson High’s Aislinn Hughes, it was just another game.
The speedy sophomore scored McPherson High’s first four goals of a 5-1 soccer rout against Augusta on Tuesday in the opening round of the McPherson Invitational, hosted by Salina Stadium due to construction about to begin at McPherson Stadium.
MHS, now 3-0, will have its hands full with a high-scoring Newton team in Friday’s 8 p.m. semifinals. The Railers bounced Salina South 4-0 in their first-round game.
On the other side of the bracket, Maize South showed a lot of explosiveness with an 8-3 pummeling of Topeka High, while Hays raised a few eyebrows by outlasting perennial tourney power Andover Central, 1-0.
Hughes scored three of her goals in the first half and then added her fourth in the second half. Heidi Myers scored the final goal, which was the first in her career. Assists went to Breckon Kaufman, Jordan Bruner and Jessie Kynaston.
“Aislinn Hughes had a great game tonight,” MHS coach Chris Adrian said. “She worked extremely hard and was rewarded with four goals. The first half I actually thought we looked a little flat. We missed some easy passes that we normally make and didn’t look like ourselves. The team was up three goals at halftime, but then gave up a simple goal in the first minute of the second half.”
Adrian said the Oriole goal didn’t faze his team.
“I liked how the girls responded, it would have been really easy to get negative and pass the blame to others, but instead you could hear the team start to loudly encourage each other on the field as well as on the bench,” Adrian said. “Augusta is definitely improved from previous years, but the girls did a nice job of breaking down their defense. We had a few moments where we played some really nice soccer, we just need to work on playing that way consistently for long periods.
Adrian was happy for Myers, who doesn’t get a lot of notoriety for her hard work.
“The highlight of the game though has to go to Heidi Myers,” Adrian said. “As a center back, she came up on a corner kick and blasted a shot in front about 30 yards. It was her first career goal and the way she and the team celebrated the goal was great to see.”
The Bullpups dominated the action, as goalie Abby Jantz-Allison did not have to make a save.
There are some who believe the MHS-Newton winner on Friday could go on and win the title.
“Friday’s game will no doubt be our toughest of the season as we will play Newton, but I am looking forward to seeing this team play against an opponent that will really push them,” Adrian said.
• TUESDAY’S GAMES •
Hays 1, Andover Central 0
Maize South 8, Topeka High 3
McPherson 5, Augusta 1
Newton 4, Salina South 0
• FRIDAY’S GAMES •
2:00 — Topeka High vs. Andover Central
4:00 — Augusta vs. Salina South
6:00 — Maize South vs. Hays
8:00 — Newton vs. McPherson
• SATURDAY’S GAMES •
8:00 — 7th place
10:00 — 5th place
Noon — 3rd place
2:00 — 1st place