After one half of play, the McPherson High School soccer team looked like it was in for a tough defensive battle with Fort Scott Tuesday in the Class 4-1A State Soccer Quarterfinals at McPherson Stadium

After one half of play, the McPherson High School soccer team looked like it was in for a tough defensive battle with Fort Scott Tuesday in the Class 4-1A State Soccer Quarterfinals at McPherson Stadium. Head Coach Chris Adrian’s team ended the first half of play only up 1-0 on a Tiger team that seemed content to play only to not lose by a wide margin, keeping their defense packed in the middle of the field. “It looked like a football formation there for a while,” Adrian said. “They had nine guys between the hash marks.” Adjustments were made during the break, however, and the MHS offense found its way to the goal four times in the second half, advancing to Friday’s semifinal rounds with a 6-0 victory. “We wanted to play it up the middle so bad, but it took us that whole first half to say ‘base it on the outside,’” Adrian said. “We were able to then drive the ball in and were much more successful.” Cole Krizek had a huge day for the Bullpups (17-2-0), as he scored two goals on the day. The first came with 34 minutes left in the first half, while his second came at the 16:17 mark in the second half as he knocked in a header off a pass from Xzavier Torres to put MHS at 4-0. Fort Scott didn’t help themselves, as the Tigers’ Austin Sather knocked the ball into his own goal at the 38:26 mark of the second half. Dylan Blosser, Logan Schrag, and Torres also added goals for McPherson, whose defense held an opponent to no shots on goal for the third straight game. “It’s crazy,” Adrian said of his defense’s effort. “Those guys are so intense. It’s tough to play defense when you’re not defending for most of the game, and we were still able to keep them shut down.” McPherson moves onto the semifinals, where it will meet Tonganoxie at 7 p.m. on Friday. The Chieftans advanced with a 2-1 win over DeSoto Tuesday. The other half of the semifinal bracket features Topeka Hayden taking on defending Class 4A State Champions Kansas City Christian in the 5 p.m. match. The semifinals Friday and final rounds on Saturday will be held at Kansas City Piper High School.