Between Andric McGill and Patrick Munsey, the McPherson High soccer team has 50 goals returning from last season.
The Bullpups also return four other starts, including Devin Cape, who was given All-State First Team honors last year.
Coming off a 14-4 season that ended in a heartbreaking defeat to Wichita Trinity in the regional championship, there’s a lot of reasons to be excited for Mac High soccer.
The Bullpups are led by one of the best coaches in the state in Chris Adrian, who is entering his eighth year, and has compiled an 84-26-5 overall record.
“We scored a lot of goals last year, and I’m hoping to improve on that,” Adrian said. “I also believe that our defense is going to be a great strength of ours, and what will hopefully be the difference between last season and this season. We gave up too many goals last year, and with the athleticism and experience we have in our back line, I believe the number of goals we allow will go down.”
McGill is one of the most prolific scorers in Kansas, coming off a 37 goal junior year. He is complimented perfectly by Munsey, who scored 13 goals and nine assists in 2015.
Together, they lead the McPherson High offense that is expected to put up some big numbers.
“I think we are going to possess a ton of athleticism and attacking potential this season,” Adrian said. “Our passing and possession game will be improved, and I hope to have a more balanced attack this season, with goals coming from more than just two or three players.”
The Bullpups’ achilles heel last season came in the form of their defense. Darrius Armstrong, Devin Cape and Hadley Hageman all return on a defense, that Adrian has higher expectations for.
“I really like how we are going to have a strong spine of returning players all over the field,” Adrian said. “The key for this team is going to be blending the returning players with the new varsity players stepping in.”
Adrian says he has a good freshman class coming in, along with some other talented newcomers.
“The new players are blending in nicely with the returners, which is creating a fun and competitive environment in practice,” Adrian said. “We’ve got a lot to get done in terms of understanding roles, and how we want to defend them.”
With the mixture of offensive fire-power and experienced defenders, the Bullpups will be one of the teams to beat in Class 4-1A.
“We lost a solid senior class from last year’s team, but all the key pieces are returning,” Adrian said. “The boys were really disappointed in how last season ended, and I feel like this team is motivated and set to make a strong post season run this year.”
Pairings for the 2016 Maize South Invitational Tournament are already out, with the Bullpups being matched up with Thomas More Prep Academy.
With a win, the Bullpups would play the winner of Maize South and Wichita Independent.
Salina South takes on Valley Center, and Andover plays Life Prep in the other side of the bracket.
The boys open up their season on Sept. 1 at home against Newton.
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