The night after shutting out Andover Central High School in the opening round, the McPherson High School girls soccer team did the same to Newton High School in the semifinals of the McPherson Invitational. After a 6-0 victory, the Lady Pups are on their way to the championship round Thursday night.
Only 20 minutes in the first half, the Lady Pups started to turn things up. It started with Aislin Hughes nailing a 10-yard kick to the net to give the Lady Pups their first lead of the night.
"We kind of fell in love with the long ball over the top after it worked a few times, but that'll be something a good team has to defend and eat that up," Lady Pups' head coach Chris Adrian said.
Without slowing down, McPherson landed another goal after starting freshmen Kenzee Godwin struck another long ball at 15 yards to give the Lady Pups a 2-0 lead. This was Godwin's first career goal as a varsity player. She showed aggressiveness on the defensive end as well to keep the Newton girls on their toes.
Check out this kick by 9th grader Kenzee Godwin. Lady Pups up 2-0 #bullpupnation pic.twitter.com/Ic6jWKjIzj— Peter Holland Jr (@Petes_Picks_) March 28, 2018
"She (Godwin) is a little bit of an animal back there. She's only a ninth grader and she works so hard. She had a lot of defensive tackles that were good, not just her offense," Adrian said.
After reaching the three-minute mark, Hughes founded Jessie Kynaston to give McPherson their third goal of the night.
Without even blinking, The Lady Pups put up one more goal to end the first half after Maisie Edmonson found Clair Hedlund outside the tackle box.
Kynaston found the goal for the second time after Godwin give her the assist to have Newton trail 5-0 in the beginning in the second half. With 20 minutes left, Hughes scored her second goal of the night after Mary Wurm gave her assist.
The Railroaders, despite playing a chippy game, couldn’t find any answers to stop the Lady Pups. McPherson has yet to be scored on through the invitational and has outscored their opponents 10-0.
"They were just winning the ball from every ball out in the air. Offensively we definitely have a lot of weapons," Adrian said.
After taking a breather on Wednesday, the Lady Pups will compete in the final round against Maize South High School on Thursday.
Maize is of fresh off of a 6-2 victory over Topeka High School. Adrian is not afraid to step up to the challenge and believes this is a way to see what the girls are capable of — as well as where they can improve.
"They are really talented and the probably the best team we've seen so far. They have some attacking threats that are going to be a big challenge for our players. We need that push to see where we need to be better at. The main thing is we are up to the challenge," Adrian said.
The Lady Pups will move on to the finals to face Maize South High School at 8 p.m. on Thursday. Newton will battle for third place at 6 p.m. against Topeka.
Contact Peter Holland Jr. by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @Petes_Picks_