McPherson High’s girls soccer team has won by wider margins this season than Tuesday’s 5-0 blanking of Hutchinson.
But it may have been the Bullpups’ most impressive victory, considering the quality of the opponent.
MHS had won by 11 goals against El Dorado and seven against Buhler, but those teams were overmatched from the get-go.
Hutchinson, though, had the athletes to at least be competitive.
But MHS jumped out to a 3-0 halftime lead and tacked on two more goals with the wind at its back in the second half.
“Hutch looked like they were going to fight us a bit in the second half, but once we got that fourth goal that kind of deflated them a little bit,” said MHS coach Chris Adrian, whose team improved to 8-3 with a key home game coming up Friday against Trinity Academy.
Alayna Wallace scored two goals and passed for an assist, while Rylee Schrader, Claire Hedlund and Aislinn Hughes added singletons. Hedlund and Hughes also had assists.
MHS had a 14-2 advantage in shots and was credited with 11 cornerkicks as it probably possessed the ball 80 percent of the time.
The emergence of the freshman Hedlund has been huge. She provides a burner on the outside and time again was able to get past her defender.
“She’s given us that third dynamic player up there where we’ve got Alayna, Claire and Aislinn in that triangle,” Adrian said. “It’s drawing so much attention it’s giving other girls space... you saw (Jessie) Kynsaton get in there and Rylee Schrader in the first half. Claire is just an engine. She can play a whole game... she just works. She blew by that right back about 10 times.”
MHS’ JVs cruised to a 10-0 win behind two goals apiece by Anna Nason and Stacey Pham. Other goals were by Raegan Harger, Rylee Schrader, Addison Fishback, Hannah Dossett, Addison Wash and Natalie Hedlund. Daphne Carrillo, Mary Ann Wurm and Reese Schroeder contributed assists.
After some patchy moments during the first half of the season, Adrian believes his team is hitting its stride.
“I’ve got to give the girls some credit... this was our 11th game of the season and I bet we’ve played eight different formations to be honest,” he said. “We’ve been putting people in different positions and they’ve just been soaking it up... I’m just really impressed with the soccer brain these girls have because they’re very intelligent out there and they make those adjustments quick.”