SALINA — McPherson High’s girls soccer team had its eyes opened wide on Friday.
In a game that matched two teams with state championship aspirations, it turned into a lopsided contest as Newton rolled past MHS 5-0 in the semifinals of the McPherson Invitational at Salina Stadium.
The Bullpups are playing Hays today at noon for third place, again in Salina.
“This was definitely a bit of a reality check,” said MHS coach Chris Adrian, whose team is now 3-1 on the season. “The first 10 minutes we looked good and organized and it felt like we were going to really give Newton a game, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. Newton is a great team, but a team I feel we should be able to compete much better with. I think this game will be a valuable experience for this team come postseason because there are a couple 4A teams which remind me a lot of Newton and tonight we learned what works and what doesn’t work against a team like that.”
It wasn’t all gloom and doom, however, in Adrian’s mind.
“Despite the loss, there were definitely some bright spots,” he said. “Anna Schwindt did a great job defending their star player Brooklyn Entz by not allowing her many shots on goal, but you have to give Entz a lot of credit because she did not get frustrated and assisted her teammates on many of their goals. The strange thing thinking back on this game is that I feel most of the girls played their best games of the season so far. I thought Aislinn (Hughes), Paige, (Schimidt) and Jessie (Kynaston) played extremely hard as our forwards and combined with each other better than any game so far this season. We’ve got to quickly put this game behind us though and prepare for a tough Hays team in the third-place game.”
Newton and Maize South play the 2 p.m. championship game. In consolation games this morning, Augusta plays Andover Central and Salina Sout takes on Topeka High.