MHS kickers advance to tourney finals

By Steve Sell
September 08, 2017

MAIZE — McPherson High’s boys soccer team gets the chance to repeat as the champion of the Maize South Invitational.

The Bullpups overcame a 0-0 first-half tie with Valley Center with a pair of goals and the defense made them stand up for a 2-0 victory in Thursday’s semifinals.

The Bullpups will be facing a hostile crowd in Saturday’s championship match as they’ll face the host Maize South. The action should begin about 4:00.

“They (South) definitely deserve to be there,” said MHS coach Chris Adrian, whose team is now 3-1 on the season.  “They have some excellent young, attacking players and their movement off the ball is fantastic. They also have a ton of depth on their varsity team. It’s going to be a great matchup of two teams that can pass the ball really well and possibly a preview of what might take place later in the season.”  

The Jaimes combined for the first goal, with Jael assisting cousin Samie. Darrius Armstrong tallied the second mark, assisted by Nathan Lloyd.

Lloyd also sparkled in goal with 7 assists.

“After our first-round game, I mentioned how I was looking forward to how we would match up against Valley Center’s big physical attacking players,” Adrian said. “Austin Monroe, Trenton Stecklein and Devin Cape all did a really nice job working together and defending as a unit. A big shoutout has to go to Nathan Lloyd as well though who was man of the match. Replacing Tanner Rose from last year is a difficult task, but today Nathan showed he is the man for the job. He made a penalty kick save at the end of the first half when the score was tied 0-0, which gave our team a huge boost. He then went on to make a couple really nice saves at the end of the game, but the icing on the cake for his was his bomb of a punt that sent Darrius Armstrong on a breakaway to ice the game.”

MHS had scored just one goal against Wichita Classical in Tuesday’s opener, but was more creative in the second round.

“Our attack looked more dangerous in today’s game,” Adrian said. “We worked hard this week on being more aggressive in the final third and I think you could see improvement in that area. The cousins Jael and Samie Jaime played well and linked up nicely to score the first goal of the game. After that, we had several more opportunities to get that second goal for some breathing room, but were unable to do it until the last minute of the game. We will continue to work on our finishing and being more clinical in front of the net.”