GREAT BEND — Generally it’s the McPherson High boys soccer team that rules in shots and time of possession.
On Thursday, though, it was Great Bend that dominated the ball and the Panthers managed to slip in the game’s only goal in a 1-0 victory.
The Bullpups finished the regular season with an 11-5 record and now await their postseason destination, most likely at home for at least one game.
MHS goalie Nathan Lloyd was under siege much of the game. Normally having to make only a smattering of saves because of the Bullpups’ offensive efficiency, he turned away 10 Panther shots. MHS had only two shots on goal.
MHS coach Chris Adrian was somewhat disappointed with the loss as it wasn’t the way he wanted to head into the playoffs.
“We came out slow and that really was the difference in the game,” Adrian said. “Great Bend has a lot of speed and creative players. With this being our final ‘practice’ game before the real season begins next week, we tried some new things in the attempt to limit the amount of balls getting played over or through our back line as that has been an area of concern in some of our past games. With only a few days of training, I thought the boys executed the game plan really well.”
Adrian said the Bullpups played a better second half.
“The team finally woke up and showed some urgency in the second half and we began to attack a lot more,” he said. “The problem was when we had a chance to make a pass to give someone a great goal scoring opportunity, we would hit the defender with the pass or miss-hit the shot, which is why we only ended up forcing two saves from their keeper. This game did give us good opportunities to try some things and put a few players in different positions going into next week. Obviously a win would have been great for the team’s confidence, but I believe we are in a good spot going into postseason. We will have the entire team healthy and ready to go next week which is huge bonus.”
Great Bend swept the night as its JVs were a 4-1 winner.