VALLEY CENTER — The expected defensive slugfest materialized on Thursday as McPherson High’s boys soccer team outlasted Valley Center, 1-0.
Andric McGill’s second-half goal with 3 minutes left was the game’s only scoring as MHS improved to 10-4 heading into the final week of the regular season.
The MHS JVs also won a defensive battle, 1-0. Valentine Lenze accounted for the MHS goal.
“These were two big wins for both the varsity and JV teams,” MHS coach Chris Adrian said. “The JV team lost an early season game against Valley Center, so they were definitely looking for some revenge. The varsity team had a different challenge because they beat Valley Center in the championship game of the Maize South tournament and tonight was their Senior Night, so we knew we were going to get their best effort.”
Adrian said the Bullpups missed out on some early opportunities.
“We started the game really well and honestly should have been up at least two goals at halftime, but their keeper made three good 1-on-1 saves,” Adrian said. “Andric and Patrick (Munsey) were a handful for their defenders and looked threatening all game long. As the second half went on and we still couldn't score the first goal, Valley Center became more and more dangerous as you could see their belief grow. With 3 minutes to go, we finally got the winner after some excellent passing in the midfield led to an Andric McGill goal.”
Adrian said this could be an emotional jolt for the team heading forward.
“This was such a big win for the boys and it felt like they really cleared a hurdle because they had been in situations like this before and couldn't finish the game off,” he said. “Our seniors tonight were huge. They played with a lot of confidence and were not going to settle for anything but a win. It really felt like a playoff game tonight.”
MHS is on the road Tuesday at Circle.