There should be some shuffling in the next South Central Region girls soccer rankings.
Winfield came into McPherson Stadium at No. 2 on Tuesday, one spot ahead of the Bullpups.
But McPherson left no doubt about the better team on this night, exploding in the second half to win going away, 4-1.
The victory improved MHS to 8-3 as it heads into the home stretch of the season.
This may have been the defining moment of the season for the Bullpups, who seemed to thrive once they took the lead in the second half. A Paige Schmidt header, off a cornerkick by Alayna Wallace, broke a 1-all tie and soon after Wallace and Aislinn Hughes added goals as the Bullpups broke the game open.
Hughes had scored the game’s first goal, off an assist by Michelle Carrillo.
“The difference was our defenders finally pushed up,” MHS coach Chris Adrian said. “If you watched the first half, we would have five girls back and they’d have one of their girls. That’s not very balanced. Once we got Breckon (Kaufman) forward, Maisie (Edmonson) on the left side stepping up, they couldn’t get on our half. We just kept pounding the goal. There was about 10 minutes there where they didn’t get it across our half of the field.”
Hughes’ first goal came less than 5 minutes into the game, but Winfield answered off a set play to knot the score at 1-all going into the half.
The Bullpups constantly stormed the goal early in the second half, but couldn’t take advantage. Finally, a perfect set play with Wallace cornering to Schmidt gave the Bullpups the only score they’d need.
But MHS wanted more. Wallace rolled a dribbler through the defense that was never touched, then Hughes finished off the scoring off an assist by Shelby Gudenkauf.
“Once we scored that (second) goal, we just wanted more,” Adrian said.
Hughes, one of the fastest players around, had a monster game as at times she was the most dominating player on the pitch.
“She fought for everything,” Adrian said. “Just her work rate alone... but then you look at the other things she brings where she’s always motivating other girls, she’s passing the ball, moving, helping everyone... she played like a senior today. Her leadership on the field as a freshman is huge.”
Sydney Ruder picked up another win in goal and took care of business, with the one hiccup coming on a goal by Madison Pollock on a shot she had no chance to stop.
MHS is home again Friday to take on Mulvane.
In the JV game, Jordan Bruner’s two goals led the Bullpups to a 2-0 win. Abby Jantz-Allison picked up the shutout in goal..