McPherson High girls soccer coach Chris Adrian says Bishop Miege’s record is irrelevant.
The Stags have the worst record among the four teams in the Class 4-1A Final Four that begins on Friday at Topeka’s Hummer Park.
While the Bullpups are a flashy 15-2-1, Miege is a somewhat modest 11-6-1. Yet, Adrian will tell you the Stags are probably the best of the three other teams in the field.
“Bishop Miege is definitely going to be the toughest 4A school we have seen this year,” Adrian said. “They have one of the best defenses in the state and are returning three first-team All-State defenders from last year’s team. They play an extremely difficult regular-season schedule, so their record is misleading. It’s going to be a great matchup seeing our offense going against their defense.”
The two titans clash at 5 p.m., with the winner to play either DeSoto (14-3-2) or Wichita Trinity (14-3-0) for the championship. MHS defeated DeSoto in last year’s semifinals, while Trinity is the only new entry in the Final Four.
The championship game is set for 2 p.m. Saturday, with the third-place game at noon.
The Bullpups are riding a wave of confidence after dethroning 2015 champion Topeka Hayden 4-2 in the quarterfinals on Tuesday at Grant Complex. Jessie Kynaston came up with a hat trick for the Bullpups, who led 3-0 after 12 minutes and massaged that lead to the finish line.
Miege lost in the state semifinals last year 1-0 to Hayden, then came back to blank DeSoto 2-0 for third place. The Stags have been able to clamp down on a lot of opposing offenses, but also can score when need be.
“Defensively we will need to play more solid than we did against Hayden,” said Adrian, whose team gave up a goal at the start of the second half and then a long bomb that was wind-aided. “They have girls who can shoot from distance and if we aren’t tight on them they will hurt us. It also looks like it’s going to be a hot-and-humid day, so we will be looking for our bench to continue and give us a boost.”
Miege’s stout defense will certainly have its eye on MHS’ Aislinn Hughes, who has piled up team highs of 23 goals and nine assists. With Kynaston’s eruption against Hayden, she now has nine goals and seven assists. Hard-working Alayna Wallace is an ace midfielder who has scored eight goals and dealt seven assists, while Paige Schmidt has five goals and seven assists.
Goalie Abby Jantz has been consistent in the pipes as only once has an opponent scored more than two goals in a game.