Chris Adrian admitted he had a flashback to the fall when his McPherson High boys soccer team couldn’t buy an overtime victory, losing all three attempts on its home turf.
When the McPherson High girls and Topeka High played to a 1-1 standoff in regulation in Friday’s third-place game of the McPherson Invitational, Adrian said he had to get those negative thoughts out of his mind.
“I’m not going to lie, I thought about that,” said Adrian, after his Bullpups wound up winning 4-2 in the PK shootout after the teams played through two scoreless overtime periods. “It went through my mind. I said ‘shut up, stop thinking about that!”
The only time PKs are used are in tournaments, so it was foreign territory for both teams.
MHS missed only one of its five attempts as Alayna Wallace, Maisie Edmonson, Heidi Myers and finally Laiken Hein all nailed their tries, with Hein’s clinching the victory since MHS shot first.
“I just asked them who wanted to take one,” Adrian said. “It’s as simple as that. I had a couple that I knew for sure... when you get to PKs a huge part of it is mental. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a defender or a forward. You saw Maisie and Laiken step up and bury PKs today as defenders. You want girls who are confident and want to have that pressure. My three captains were the first ones to raise their hands.”
Meanwhile, Bullpup goalie Riley Hett was up to the task by successfully turning back two of the four Topeka tries.
The Bullpups held on to a 1-0 lead on a Jaycee Burghart first-half header until Topeka finally tied the game on the equalizer by Lauren Dietrick with 22 minutes remaining. The Trojans actually had far more attempts, but Hett was active in goal with some nice saves.
The victory improved MHS to 3-1 on the season and it now has some time off before playing again on Thursday at Circle.
“Like I told the girls, they found a way to get it done,” Adrian said. “Again, it’s not our prettiest soccer happening out here. They had some speed up top and we dealt with it I thought a lot better today. Our back line did a much better job of playing relaxed. You very rarely saw them kick the ball. The last game that happened about 30 times.”
Adrian said Edmonson was a standout on defense as he liked her calmness and how she handled every situation.
The Bullpups already are a quarter through their season.
“We’ve got a lot to work on, that’s probably the biggest thing to take away. We’ve got to really work on our possession, our rhythm,” Adrian said. “It’s not very smooth out there yet.”
Maize South, which had advanced to the championship game by defeating the Bullpups, went on to win the title with a 3-0 victory over Newton, which played without All-State star Brookelyn Entz, who was injured late in the Railers' semifinal win over Topeka High on Thursday. She was on crutches with an ankle injury.
All of the Mavericks' goals came in the first half.
• SCOREBOARD •
• TUESDAY’S GAMES •
Newton 6, Andover Central 0
Topeka 10, Augusta 0
Maize South 3, Hays 0
McPherson 4, Salina South 0
• THURSDAY’S GAMES •
Andover Central 0, Augusta 0, (Andover Central wins 6-5 in PK shootout)
Hays 1, Salina South 1 (Hays wins 3-1 in PK Shootout)
Newton 3, Topeka High 1
Maize South 3, McPherson 0
• FRIDAY’S GAMES •
Salina South 4, Augusta 0, 7th place
Hays 1, Andover Central 0, 2 OTs 5th place
McPherson 1, Topeka High 1, McPherson wins 4-2 on PKs, 3rd place
Maize South x, Newton x, 1st place