The McPherson High School soccer team graduated the bulk of its offensive firepower from last year, but seniors Devin Cape and Darrius Armstrong and sophomore Britton Haigh are more than prepared to take over the scoring responsibilities.
Led by a hat trick from Haigh, the Bullpups peaked their head back over the .500 mark with a 5-0 victory against Winfield Tuesday night at McPherson Stadium. The Bullpups are now 3-2 on the young season, and 1-0 at home after Tuesday’s victory.
Despite the lopsided score, a physical Winfield team came ready to play and gave the Bullpups a good game for the majority of the first half.
“This was a good bounce back win for us against a very physical Winfield team,” head coach Chris Adrian said. “We played real tough tonight and that was a point of emphasis. We won about 75 percent of those 50-50 balls, and that made a huge difference. To see guys like Britton and Darrius, who we know are going to be goal scorers, but they’re still learning those connections together and they’re both playing new positions, but today they showed what they can do and it was fun to watch.”
It took a while for the Bullpups to find the back of the net, but once they did, the floodgates opened. Cape put the Bullpups on the board with 12:31 left in the first half after beating his defender down the sideline, and slipping one in between the goalkeeper’s legs for a tricky goal.
McPherson had two more quick scoring chances right after Cape’s goal, and it wasn’t long after Hayes scored his first goal of the game with 8:01 left in the half.
The Bullpups took a 2-0 lead into halftime, but they were far from finished.
Five minutes into the second half, Haigh slid a penalty kick shot in the bottom left corner to give the Pups a 3-0 lead. It was then Armstrong’s turn to score, as the senior leader belted a ball from 30 yards out that soared over the goalkeeper into the back of the net. Less than one minute later, Haigh got his hat trick on a play where he simply ran right through the defense into a one-on-one opportunity with the goalkeeper. Haigh didn’t miss, as he capped off a 5-0 night for the Bullpups.
While Haigh and Armstrong will generate most of the buzz after this game, Adrian was extremely pleased with his defensive effort for the entire game.
“Last year we would win games 5-1 or 6-1, and you shouldn’t be giving up goals if you’re scoring six in a game, so it was nice to see the defense keep up the intensity back there,” Adrian said.
While Tuesday’s win was nice, Adrian soon switched his focus to a big time matchup at Salina Central on Thursday.
“Last year [Salina] Central was a very good team and they were young, so now they’re good and have experience,” Adrian said. “These are the type of games we get excited for.”
Despite only getting 20 minutes of action in due to traveling issues from Winfield, the McPherson High junior varsity team was a 2-0 winner. Zach Wash and Cody Achilles scored the goals for the Bullpups.
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