McPherson High's girls soccer team is peaking at the right time.
The Bullpups completed their regular-season home schedule Monday night with a 3-0 shutout of Circle, which gave them the outright league championship with a 6-0 record — giving up one goal in the process.
It was the Bullpups' sixth win in a row and improves their overall record to 12-3. If they can defeat Valley Center on the road Thursday, they would have home-field advantage throughout the postseason. And, of course, the Final Four will be held at McPherson Stadium at the end of the month.
MHS coach Chris Adrian admitted his team had a tough time getting going, as the Thunderbirds seemed more intent on keeping the game close than trying to win as they were on the defensive from the start.
"We were sluggish, but they were also putting a lot of girls behind the ball," Adrian said of the packed-in T-Bird defense. "I've never seen us possess the ball and get only three shots in one half like that. Obviously they were trying to limit what we could do."
Scoring for the Bullpups were Aislinn Hughes, Jessie Kynaston and Alayna Wallace. Kynaston, Paige Schmidt and Breckon Kaufman were credited with assists.
"We did have some nice goals," Adrian said. "It wasn't like the goals we scored were mistakes from them."
The McPherson defense was spotless, as the Thunderbirds did not even have a shot on goalie Sydney Ruder.
The Bullpups were all over Circle in the JV game 6-0, as they also finished league play undefeated.
Jordan Bruner and Rylee Schrader scored two goals apiece, while Illana Moyer and Kelsey Wilson scored one apiece. Kenzie Shoulders was credited with two assists, while Reese Schroeder and Abby Jantz had one apiece.
The Bullpups' game Thursday at Valley Center should be one of their toughest tests of the year and a good warmup for postseason play. The Hornets defeated Hutchinson earlier this season, which has handed MHS one of its three losses.
"I want to finish the regular season with a game like Valley Center," Adrian said. "That is a prefect pre-state championship type of game. That game has huge implications for us. If we win that game we're the No. 1 seed no matter what anybody else does. A loss in that game would most likely mean a coin flip between us and Topeka Hayden."