Big second half sparks Bullpups

By Steve Sell
October 26, 2016
Kendall Shaw

Wind? Who needs the wind?

Certainly not McPherson High’s boys soccer team.

After managing a lone, late first-half goal with the wind at their back, the Bullpups were a different team when they went into the 20 mph. gale. They scored five goals to key a 6-0 victory over Thomas More Prep in the Class 4-1A regional semifinals Tuesday at McPherson Stadium.

The Bullpups will host Andover Central — a 1-0 winner over Rose Hill — at 5 p.m. Thursday for the regional championship, as the winner advances to the Elite Eight. If the Bullpups win, they would be home on Monday instead of Tuesday, due to a college game already scheduled at the stadium.

“We always play better into the wind,” said MHS coach Chris Adrian, whose top-seeded team is now 13-4 on the year. “We played this team earlier in the year and it was windier than this and we scored one goal in the first half and four in the second half. When we play with the wind, the other team is all behind the ball and there’s not a lot of space. We play our best when we have space to run it.”

It was looking like a 0-0 first half before the Monarchs committed penalty inside the box, with Andric McGill drilling the PK with just 1:49 left. TMP goalie Hayden Lowe was under siege the entire half, but played admirably to keep the game close.

MHS, though, was a different team after the break.

McGill scored quickly off an Austin Monroe throw-in to make it 2-0. Then McGill scored two goals just 30 seconds apart, one of them assisted by Patrick Munsey.

McGill then assisted Darrius Armstrong to make it 5-0 before Munsey finished off the scoring after a nice assist by Jackson Lloyd.

The Bullpups dominated the game with 15 shots on goal, while TMP managed just one as it seldom possessed the ball near the McPherson goal.

“You’ve got to give them a lot of credit, they played really well and frustrated us the first half,” Adrian said. “We never looked like we were going to give up a goal, but they just made it difficult.”

MHS will have no bargain on Thursday as Andover Central, 8-6-3, plays a tough schedule and will put up much more of a test.

“They’ve got a lot of similar scorers to us,” said Adrian, whose team has not played the Jaguars this year.