For a half, it appeared the McPherson High soccer team had been caught looking ahead.
The Bullpups, who host Maize Thursday in what will be their biggest game of the year, found themselves locked in a 0-0 tie at halftime with Valley Center on Tuesday.
But the Bullpups started scoring goals at a fast-and-furious pace once the game entered the second half, as they wound up winning in runaway fashion, 6-0.
MHS’ fourth win in a row pushed its record to 7-1, as the season has reached the halfway point.
“Valley Center proved to be a tough nut to crack in the first half. They played solid defense and put a lot of players behind the ball,” MHS coach Chris Adrian said. “We kept the ball in Valley Center’s half for most of the time, but were unable to get that opening goal. The players started to get frustrated because of the lack of space due to the amount of players defending. We kept trying to attack right down the middle, which is the opposite of what you want to do when a team is defending with nine or 10 players.”
Xzavier Torres lit the fuse with the first goal, assisted by Luke Reber.
Nick Torres then scored off a pass by Dylan Babcock, followed by a Reber goal, with the assist to Ryan Horton.
Dylan Blosser scored the next two goals, one of them assisted by Connor Schafer. Cole Krizek put the cherry on top of the victory, after a feed from Xzavier Torres.
“Halftime allowed us to make a few adjustments and explain specifically how we wanted to go about breaking down the defense,” Adrian said. “Players were encouraged to make runs to help teammates as opposed to only making runs so they could get the ball.”
The relentless Bullpups fired away 16 shots on the goal, while Dylan Stos had an easy time, having to turn back only one shot.
“I am really proud of the way this team plays together,” Adrian said. “After tonight’s game, we have now had 10 different players score goals during a varsity game. In this game alone, I believe we had seven different people get either a goal or an assist.”
The MHS JVs also were victorious, 3-0. Joseph Jumonville and Kevin Diaz scored goals, with the other an own goal by Valley. Adrian Garcia had an assist.
Thursday’s game with Maize has a 5 p.m. starting time at McPherson Stadium, with the JVs playing at 3:30.