The McPherson High School girls’ soccer team has seen its share of strife this season.

The McPherson High School girls’ soccer team has seen its share of strife this season.
The young Bullpups were dealt another blow Friday, as they saw three starters go down to injury, one seemingly for the rest of the season. It was a scenario that could have seen MHS fold and write off the rest of this year as a loss and start building for next year.
Instead, MHS responded by shuting down a two-loss Hays team 2-0.
“Injuries are opportunities for other girls to come up and just play hard,” MHS coach Chris Adrian said. “I could name all 11 players, at least, in this game that played excellently. You could see it. They just worked their tails off to get to the ball.”
The Indians have dominated thus far this season, as they entered McPherson Stadium with a 10-2-1 record, plus a perfect 7-0 mark in the Western Athletic Conference. They had gone nine straight without a loss prior to Tuesday, which just made what a hobbled Bullpup team did all the more impressive.
Senior goal keeper Shaelah White and sophomore forward Paige Schmidt both watched from the sidelines Tuesday. Schmidt suffered a sprained ankle against Mulvane Friday, while White was on crutches with a knee injury.
Adrian is confident Schmidt will be ready to go by Monday’s game at Circle, if not Thursday’s home match with Buhler.
White, however, is most likely lost for the year, a tough blow for the senior.
“As a senior, you like to know when it’s your last game and not have that taken [away],” Adrian said. “She’s still a captain on our team and a leader. She’s over [on the bench] cheering the girls on. That’s very important to have, even if she’s not out there playing.”
The Bullpups had to call on Sydney Ruder to handle the duties in the net, a position the freshman is familiar with. Ruder made four saves, with Hays taking six total shots on goal.
“Sydney did awesome filling in back there,” Adrian said. “She made some great saves. Those long balls that were kicked into the wind that she came out and collected without a rebound, that’s tough to do and she made it look easy.”
One bright spot for McPherson (5-7-1) was the return of Breckon Kaufman, who was also injured during Friday’s game against Mulvane. Kaufman had the Bullpups’ first goal of the game with 31:08 left in the first half.
Zaida Chapman had the second goal, which came at the 29:38 mark of the second half off an assist from Bailey Holton. All told, MHS had seven shots on goal against Hays, who also picked up a pair of yellow cards with 45 seconds remaining in the game as obvious frustration began to manifest on the field.
Knowing that he was undermanned, Adrian had his girls play as aggressive as they could, which seemed to surprise the Indians.
“We wanted to put outselves in positions where we could get dangerous chances,” Adrian said. “And we got a nice break in the first half against the wind to get [Kaufman’s] goal. And that was a boost for the girls to go against that wind to get that goal. And then, the second half, it was just all about playing smart. We knew we’d get a couple of chances get some shots off, but we tried to be smart in the back and tried to limit what they could do.”
The JV Pups lost their game against Hays 2-0.
McPherson is on the home stretch of the season, as they have three regular season games remaining. In addition to Buhler and Circle, the Pups will have senior night May 13 against Great Bend at McPherson Stadium.
Knowing they are in those last few games before regionals start May 20, Tuesday’s win over Hays was a much needed confidence booster.
“This was a win that these girls needed so bad,” Adrian said. “They’ve been so close on so many occassions to get a win like this. To finally, with the adversity we’re facing, to get a’s huge.”

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