Once McPherson High’s girls soccer team was defeated by Andover Central in the first round of the McPherson Invitational, the immediate goal was to win its final two games.
The Bullpups did just that, following up Thursday’s 5-0 blanking of Augusta with a 3-1 victory over Topeka High on Saturday to take fifth place.
“Mission accomplished,” said MHS coach Chris Adrian, whose team is now 4-1 and has given up just three goals all season. “We come out of the tournament 2-1. In soccer, your record is so important come the end of the season. If you can have that little homefield advantage (for the playoffs) it sure pays off. Who knows, maybe this win today will be a big one for us in terms of seeding at the end.”
The Bullpups scored early on a goal by Anna Schwindt. The play, however, was made by Alayna Wallace as she hustled after a ball headed for out of bounds, saved it, and then got the wheels in motion for Schwindt to score.
The Bullpups’ only real breakdown of the day came right before halftime as Abby Ostrander scored for the Trojans to make it 1-all.
MHS went into a strong wind in the second half, but that didn’t deter it. Jessie Kynaston scored two goals, both off Wallace assists as she had three on the day. Kynaston, only a freshman, showed good speed.
“We had moments where we looked really good, but we weren’t consistent in the first half,” Adrian said. “Second half, the whole message was how were we going to respond, what kind of fight do we have. You’re going against the wind, they’re going to have the ball and they’re going to get chances. But to score two goals against the wind and to play much better the second half was the response I was looking for. These girls are fighters, they’re going to battle out there.”
Maize South outlasted Newton 1-0 to win the title for a second straight year, while Andover Central was third after edging Salina South 2-1 in double overtime. Hays claimed seventh with a 2-0 blanking of Augusta.
McPherson’s Breckon Kaufman and Aislinn Hughes were picked to the All-Tourney Team, headlined by MVP Ryan Burnett of Maize South.
Also on the team were Brooklyn Entz and Aylin Torres of Newton, Paige Ledesman, McKensie Miller and Hayden Burnett of Maize South, Masen Stamp of Andover Central, Makayla Moresco and Melissa Mahoney of Salina South and Tayln Kleweno of Hays.
The Bullpups have only one game next week, that on Tuesday — a first-ever meeting with Wichita Collegiate in Wichita.