The only lightning this time when McPherson High’s soccer team and Augusta met came off the feet of the Bullpups’ Andric McGill and Jose Arriola.
Both scored first-half goals here Monday as the Bullpups blanked the Orioles 2-0 in a game made up from Sept. 23 when lightning struck right at the outset.
This was a confidence booster for the Bullpups, as Augusta came in 10-2-1. MHS improved to 7-5-2 with another game today at Circle before closing out the regular season at home Thursday against Buhler.
“They’re ranked No. 2 in our region right now so that was a big win for us in terms of regional standings,” MHS coach Chris Adrian said. “There’s a possibility we might see them again. With two games left, there’s about five teams that could do a lot of shuffling.”
The slithery McGill knifed through the Augusta defense less than 4 minutes into the game for the first goal. Arriola’s goal came with 9 minutes before the break.
MHS used its superior passing skills to dominate the time of possession. Augusta did threaten midway through the first half, but acrobatic Bullpup goalie Sam Minnick prevented the ball from crossing the line with a spectacular save.
Minnick turned away two good Augusta opportunities in the second half as there was no way he was going to allow the Orioles to get on the board.
“They really didn’t do much after that,” Adrian said. “He came up big on two instances in the second half.”
Adrian hopes this positive start to the week is just a harbinger of things to come.
“This is an important week,” he said. “Tonight, this was a big one because we didn’t come out well against Valley Center (last week) and our first half we played pretty well. We finished chances. Second half, we just couldn’t get that third goal, which would have really put the game beyond them. We kept them in it, kept them with some belief. I guess it’s a good experience for our guys to play an entire second half.”
The Bullpups are expected to win again today at Circle, but Adrian is taking nothing for granted.
“This is state practice,” Adrian said. “You’ve got to play back-to-back games. We’re going to be more tired than this in a state semifinal when you leave it all out there to get to that final game.”