"The difference between winning and losing was really just a couple of inches."

NEWTON — Double overtime loss. It is how last year's season ended and this year's season began for the McPherson High School boys' soccer team as they dropped a 2-1 game to Newton on Tuesday.

After battling back to tie the score in regulation, Mac had its best chance to win with about two minutes left in the second overtime, as a Darrius Armstrong bending shot hit off the post and bounced away. Ninety seconds later the Railers would score to end the game just 31 seconds shy of going to penalty kicks to decide the outcome.

"This was a really tough loss to take," said McPherson coach Chris Adrian. "The difference between winning and losing was really just a couple of inches. It was a loss that we will learn from and use to motivate us this season."

Connor Williams scored the lone Mac goal on an assist by Tyler Hoxie. McPherson ended with four shots on goal while Nathan Lloyd made five saves.

"I was really encouraged by this game," Adrian remarked. "All I've heard about for the past few weeks is how are we going to compete without our all state players from last year. Well tonight we answered that question and went toe to toe with a really good Newton team at their home field. We want to lead when it comes to hustle plays and winning balls out of the air. We are really going to continue to work on that and I believe that will help give us the extra 31 seconds and two inches needed to finish games off and get over the hump."

The Pups are back on the road Thursday at they travel down to Rose Hill. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m., following the JV game that kicks at 5:30 p.m.

Contact Matt Cole by email at mcole@mcphersonsentinel.com and follow him on Twitter @MacSentinel.