As it turned out, McPherson High's girls soccer team may have drawn the short straw.
Once the first day of the McPherson Invitational Tournament was in the books Tuesday, it was evident the Bullpups might have played the best team in the field.
At least that's what coach Chris Adrian thought after the Bullpups dropped a 3-0 decision to Newton.
"That is an excellent team," said Adrian, who didn't believe his team played all that poorly. "That's the best team we have played this year. I see them probably going on to win the thing after what I've seen today."
Adrian rattled off a list of Railer players who caught his eye, as Newton controlled the ball and kept the MHS defense on its heels. "They've got players who can play. They killed us on our mistakes. If we made a mistake, they put the ball in the net. I thought we actually played pretty well tonight. We played pretty hard."
The Bullpups have lost two straight since their rousing season-opening win over Salina South. They will play Augusta at 4 p.m. Friday in the consolation bracket.
"We want to be one of the teams that finishes 2-1 in this tournament," Adrian said.
Newton was on the attack in the first half, with goals scored by Brooklynn Entz and Taylor Edson. MHS goalie Shaelah White really didn't have a chance on either score, as the Railers executed nicely.
White was the story for much of the second half, as the Railers charged the MHS goal time and again, only to be rebuffed. Newton finally broke through on a Katelyn Zinn goal with 7:26 left off an assist by Entz.
"Shaelah had a nice second half," Adrian said. "She was just coming out and making confident saves. She look solid back there today."
In other games:
• Maize South 2, Salina South 1 (won shootout 4-2) — The tournament got off to a scintillating start as the Mavericks and Cougars couldn’t settle anything in 90 minutes, necessitating a shootout.
Salina South scored less than two minutes into the game on a goal by Nicole Budke, with Katie Snyder assisting. The Mavericks tied the game 10 minutes later on a goal by Ryann Burnett.
After neither team could score in the two 5-minute overtimes, Maize South dominated the shootout, just as it did during the game with a 10-2 advantage in shots on goal.
Elena Garcia was terrific in defeat with nine saves in goal.
• Hays 3, Topeka 1 — Hays' Tayln Kleweno scored a goal and assisted on another as the Indians advanced to the semifinals.
Kleweno scored the game’s only first-half goal. Rachel Luedders scored the second Hays goal, with Kleweno assisting. After Topeka’s Wendy Zimmerman sliced the lead in half with an unassisted goal, Abby Ostrander gave Hays some breathing room with a goal with 15 minutes left, assisted by Erica Self.
Hays actually had only five shots in the game as it proved to be highly efficient.
• Andover Central 6, Augusta 0 — This was the blowout of the day, as Gaby Gentzler scored two goals to lead the powerful Jaguars to the rout.
Also scoring were Veronica Hernandez, Maddi Zimmer, Jenna Peckham and Kenzie Penny. All the goals except for Penny’s were unassisted, with Masen Stamp earning an assist.
Andover Central, the defending tournament champion pounded the Augusta goal with 25 shots, while the Orioles never got one off.
• Tuesday’s Games •
Maize South 2, Salina South 1 (4-2 PK shootout)
Hays 3, Topeka 1
Andover Central 6, Augusta 0
Newton 3, McPherson 0
• Friday’s Games •
2:00 — Salina South vs. Topeka
4:00 — Augusta vs. McPherson
6:00 — Maize South vs. Hays
8:00 — Andover Central vs. Newton
• Saturday’s Games •
10:00 — 7th Place
Noon — 5th Place
2:00 — 3rd Place
4:00 — 1st Place