McPherson High girls soccer coach Chris Adrian gave credit where credit was due.
He was extremely proud of how his Bullpups played here on a rainy Friday, taking once-beaten Newton into overtime before a long bomb by Aylin Torres decided the game just 3 1/2 minutes into the extra session.
But Adrian, who also coaches the Bullpup boys, has seen this scenario play out too many times. His boys lost three games at home in overtime this past fall and now the girls have suffered a defeat after regulation. It did win a shootout in the McPherson Invitational, but just for once he’d like to see his team celebrate after making a walk-off play in OT.
“Frustrating,” said Adrian, whose team is now 7-3 while the Railers are 8-1, their only loss coming to No. 1-ranked Maize South in the finals of the McPherson Invitational. “We want to get over that hump. I’m tired of ‘we played well.”
But he added the way his team played in this game would normally have been good enough to win, but the Railers certainly will be a state contender in Class 5A. MHS actually had more shots on frame than Newton, 8-6.
In both halves, the teams swapped goals. The Railers’ first two came from All-Stater Brookelynn Entz, who at times found herself surrounded by three and four Bullpups, yet was able to weave her way into goal-scoring position.
Even though Entz scored two goals, Adrian liked how his team defended her in her swan song against the Bullpups.
“Heidi (Myers) played phenomenal today against Brookelynn,” he said. “Very rarely did she get an open opportunity. The goals she got was a ball that skips through and we just miss a clearance. (Goalie) Riley (Hett) played great in the goal and made a few really big saves at the end of that first half.”
The Bullpups’ Aislinn Hughes answered Entz’s goals with two of her own off perfectly placed corner kicks by Alayna Wallace.
Entz’s first goal came 12 minutes into the game, but Hughes’ first header came with 12:45 left in the half. In the second half, Entz’s second goal came right after the outside official had awarded possession to the Bullpups, but the head official overruled him and the Railers scored immediately after.
Fortunately, the Bullpups stormed right back just 2 minutes later as MHS is working the cornerkick opportunities to perfection.
“It seems like all we do in practice is work on those corners and set plays,” Adrian said. “That’s what we were playing for, to get those opportunities.”
In the JV game, the Bullpups blitzed the Railers 5-0, scoring four goals in the half.
Hannah Dossett, Addison Fishback, Stacey Pham, Anna Nason and Natalie Hedlund each scored a goal. Pham had two assists, while Fishback and Heather Schimming had one apiece.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Bullpups as they are home twice next week to take on Hutchinson on Tuesday and Trinity Academy on Friday.