McPherson High girls soccer coach Chris Adrian believes the 11th annual McPherson Invitational Tournament that begins on Tuesday at McPherson Stadium will be a litmus test for his state-ranked Bullpups.
“This tournament will be as competitive as any in the state this week,” said Adrian, whose team plays Salina South at 8 p.m. in the first round.
Ironically, the two teams have met in their only game of the season, with the fourth-ranked Bullpups taking a 2-0 victory over the Cougars on March 16 in Salina.
“Playing Salina South back-to-back gives us an interesting challenge,” Adrian said. “I’m sure they have been game planning for ways to beat us all week. We’ve had some great practices over the break and I anticipate we will come out much more organized and play with a lot more composure than we did the first time we played in Salina.”
MHS had five players who had been with the team for only a handful of practices before that first meeting as they were members of the Bullpup girls basketball team that made the state finals.
All signs point toward an MHS-Newton championship game.
“Newton looks to be the team to beat,” Adrian said. “Their seniors, obviously including (All-Stater Brooklynn) Entz, have been the core of their team since they were freshmen and they feel this is their year to make a push for a state title. Maize South is also returning most of their team from last year and should be really solid. Topeka and Hays are also going to be real good teams as well. There really isn’t a team you can look past and it should be a highly competitive tournament.”
If MHS wins, it would play the winner of Maize South and Hays on Thursday. The finals are set for Friday.