McPherson Invitational starts on the right foot

It was a cold night at Bulldog Stadium, but the McPherson High School girls soccer team stayed hot as they defeated Andover Central High School 4-0 on Monday in the opening round of the McPherson Invitational.

The Lady Pups didn't waste any time to putting up points on the board. Aislinn Hughes sprinted down to the field and nailed the Lady Pups' first goal of the night.

"That first goal in the opening two minutes really settled us down. When we came out, Andover had about a minute of possession and they moved it around. We took it, and Aislinn went and score right away. That really helped us going forward," Lady Pups head coach Chris Adrian said.

After a 1-0 lead, it has been a defensive match up for both teams until Hughes scored her second goal of the night with two minutes left in the first half.

"I love the energy we came out tonight. We don't have the biggest or strongest girls on our team, but they play so hard," Adrian said.

In the second half, the Lady Pups remained dominant over Andover Central. Claire Hedlund gave McPherson their third goal of the night to make it 3-0. Their fourth goal came from Jaycee Burghart's impressive corner kick from the left side of the post.

"I’ve seen it happen on windy days, but it wasn't windy tonight. So for her to bend that thing in was really impressive," Adrian said.

It was something that she has been practicing all week for.

"I felt pretty confident because I did it during the practice, and I tried to get it up there and could test it. It had a nice curve on it," Burghart said.

The Lady Pups will move on to semifinals to face Newton High School at 8 p.m. on Tuesday night at Bulldog Stadium. Newton showed that they can also put up points after beating Augusta High School 5-1. Adrian is confident that the Lady Pups will accept the challenge against the Railers.

"We have to make sure that we are ready to defend with the players that they have. But, I also saw some things that I think we can do offensively that could cause them some problems," Adrian said.

Contact Peter Holland Jr. by email at pholland@mcphersonsentinel.com or follow him on Twitter @Petes_Picks_