HUTCHINSON—With soccer season almost coming to an end, the McPherson High School soccer team were still search of a quality win this season. Well, the Bullpups got it after shutting out Hutchinson High School, 4-0, at the Hutchinson Soccer Complex on Thursday.
"There are so many story lines that go into what made this win so great. This was a signature win for the team against a quality opponent, not just because of the result, but the manner in which the boys got the win," head coach Chris Adrian said. "As a coach, I was extremely proud of how hard the boys competed despite facing a lot of adversity."
The Bullpups were missing couple players during Thursday's match. Austin Monroe was unavailable due to a family emergency at Kansas City. Drew Schrader was inactive due to an injury, and Cody Achilles was a 30 minutes late as he was back in McPherson competing in the Cross Country AVTCL League Championship. So, the "next man up" mentality came into effect when Caden Hardgrave, Tyler Bontrager, and Joel Hendricks stepped up to fill in opened spots. As for Tyler Hoxie and Rhett Edmonson, they had to rotate different positions throughout the match.
The Bullpups were on the board early after the Salthawks scored their own goal to give the Bullpups 1-0 lead at halftime. The Bullpups has been in this position before against tough opponents and would break down in the second half. That wasn't the case Thursday night.
The Bullpups put up three goals in the second half. Achilles reunited with his soccer teammates and gave the Bullpups a 2-0 lead, after scoring his first goal of the night. Adrian had no words to explain about Achilles performance after killing two birds in one stone.
"I don’t even know what to say about Cody Achilles," Adrian said. "That kid has an unbelievable engine. To run a cross country meet and then not only play a soccer game 30 minutes later, but to play the way he did was unreal."
The Bullpups' ball movement was excellent offensively as they made 13 straight passes from nine players that would later result to Edmonson scoring the Bullpups' third goal in the final 10-minute mark. All night, in the wet and muddy turf, Edmonson was able to cover ground that would lead to his first goal and only goal.
"We controlled the game and moved the ball really well despite the rough field," Adrian said. "Hutchinson began to get tired and frustrated as the second half went on and that’s when we found another gear. Rhett Edmonson scored a well deserved goal in the final 10 minutes of the game after some excellent build up play."
"I would love to know how much turf Rhett covered because he was everywhere and played the entire game," Adrian continued. "I’m really proud of the entire team as it took every player playing at a high level for us to be successful. It was one of the goals of the season for me. "
The Bullpups finished it off with their fourth and final goal led by Britton Haigh with the assist from Jael Jamie. McPherson record seven shots-on-goal. Nathan Lloyd recorded two saves against the frustrated Salthawks team.
"This was such an important game for the boys and should fill them with confidence going into the final week of regular season, Adrian said. "If we play like we did tonight and add Austin Monroe and Drew Schrader to the mix, this team looks like they are ready to make another deep post season run."
With the win, the Bullpups improved to 9-4 of the season. With it being their last road game, McPherson will return home for their two games next week, starting with Augusta High School on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., and then Great Bend High School on Thursday night at 6:30 p.m.
Contact Peter Holland Jr. by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @Petes_Picks_orour sports page @MacCountySports