MHS kickers edged in finals

By Steve Sell
September 10, 2017

MAIZE — Maize South got the better of McPherson High in football on Friday.

On Saturday, the Mavericks got the better of the Bullpups in futbol, also known as soccer.

And in both games, the Bullpups didn’t score.

Maize South captured the soccer title in its own Invitational by edging the Bullpups, 1-0. MHS was hoping to repeat as the tourney champion.

MHS coach Chris Adrian was disappointed with the outcome as the Bullpups are now 3-2 on the season as they prepare to host Winfield in their home opener on Tuesday.

“I’m not going to sugar coat it, we simply did not compete at a high enough level in the first half to win a championship game against a good Maize South team,” he said. “I don’t know if it was nerves from playing in a final with a young team or fatigue, but we failed to challenge for balls in the air or go into tackles with any force during the first half of the game. It was not Bullpup soccer. Ultimately that falls on me as a coach and I’ve got to do a better job of finding the right buttons to push with my players to get them playing to their potential. ”

The second half was better, but still the Bullpups came up with nil on offense.

“The second half was much better and we finally started to physically compete and win first and second balls,” Adrian said. “Once that happened, our possession improved and we began to get better opportunities, but somehow failed to score on any of them. We really should have had three or four goalsm but the struggle in front of the net continued. I thought Devin Cape, Drew Schrader and Darrius Armstrong did an awesome job of leading by example in the second half and all three worked their tails off for the team.”

Even though MHS struggled early, it was still an 0-0 game until late when the Mavericks finally found the net.

“The game looked to be going to PKs, but then Maize South hit a shot from 25 yards into the top corner to take the lead and we couldn’t find an equalizer in the last 3 minutes,” Adrian said. “I was pleased with how we defended for the most part. Maize South is a high-powered offense and I thought our defense kept them in check. On offense, we’ve got to keep working hard in practice on our combination play in front of the goal and finishing. It’s not that we aren’t creating chances, we are actually averaging more shot attempts in the first five games of this season than we were last year, the difference is last year we had 15 goals scored through the first five games and this year we only have 7.”

Cape and Armstrong were selected to the All-Tournament Team. It was learned Monday that Armstrong was the tourney MVP.

MHS can now finally return home as it’s played its first five games on the road. Winfield comes to town and the Bullpups and Vikings have forged quite a rivalry in recent years as the Winfield is always well-coached.