Chris Adrian didn’t get everything he wanted here Tuesday night, but he got what mattered most — another victory.
“I would have liked to have had that shutout,” said Adrian, after his McPherson High girls soccer team extended its winning streak to four with a 4-1 victory over Hays to complete a three-game homestand sweep. “This has been the fifth game we have been scored on. Eight shutouts (for the defense and goalie Sydney Ruder) is really, really good.”
The Bullpups improved to 10-3 and they want to keep the momentum going. They’re keeping their eye on the prize, which is a trip to the Final Four —which will be no trip at all since McPherson Stadium is the site for the Class 4-1A championships.
The Bullpups certainly are playing Final Four-worthy soccer. They led 2-0 at the half on goals by Alayna Wallace (a 35-yard bomb) and Aislinn Hughes, but then were pushed early in the second half when Maddie Keller scored for Hays.
Undaunted, MHS was relentless on the offensive end, as goals by Paige Schmidt (off a Jordan Bruner assist) and Jessie Kynaston provided breathing room.
MHS kept the ball in Hays’ end for much of the game, which gave the Indians few scoring opportunities.
“(Time of possession) has been a huge point of emphasis for us the last couple of weeks,” Adrian said. “You’re starting to see it pay off a little bit.”
Despite the 2-0 halftime lead, Adrian said the team was somewhat sluggish as it has played some tough games in recent weeks.
“I don’t know exactly what it was,” he said. “We were a little letdown in the first half, but the way we responded in the second half... a lot more hustle plays which led to goals. You look at Jessie’s goal, it was just pure hustle that got that one. She was playing real aggressive tonight, working really hard.”
Right after the game, Adrian asked his team who was up next and the girls responded in unison with “Buhler.” This is a game the Bullpups have been pointing to and the arch-rivals meet Thursday on the Crusaders’ pitch.
The MHS JVs were a 3-0 winner as Kenzie Shoulders scored two goals and Bruner added the other. Bruner, Shoulders and Mensi Patel had the assists.