There is no stopping the McPherson girls soccer team
The McPherson High School girls soccer team has won 10 out of the last 11 games, and are on a seven-game winning streak after beating Wichita Collegiate High School last Thursday and Mulvane High School on Tuesday on the road and with both opponents holding a winning record. In result, the Lady Pups are the Great Plains Federal Credit Union Team of the Week, presented by the McPherson Sentinel.
"It's awesome, I think we've been working hard every day with our game," goalkeeper Lakyn Schieferecke said. "Some say we don't play the hardest teams, but I'll guarantee we'll give it our all every single time. We just have to work hard for it."
The Lady Pups are back where they needed to be. Even with the concerns on how they will perform without their former star player Aislinn Hughes and lack of an aggressive schedule. However at 11-1, 7-0 in the AVCTL Division-III league, it's safe to say that nothing changed.
"Coach (Chris Adrian ) brought us numbers last game about where we were at this season compared to last year," Bullpup's senior goalkeeper Riley Hett said. "I think a lot of girls over the summer thought without Aislinn (Hughes) and those kinds of key players we had last year, we wouldn't be doing good as we were, but we are literally at the exact same place as last year."
In all 11 games, the Bullpups recorded a total of 62 goals out of 98 shots, averaging 4.7 goals a night. McPherson has a triple threat that scored most of these goals. Claire Hedlund leads with 14. Kenzee Godwin has 13, along with leading the team in assists with nine, and Hannah Hageman has 11 goals with eight assists.
"Us scoring as much as we have been, it's pretty cool. Even losing one our best players, we still can keep up the pace," Hedlund said.
What also plays a role in the Bullpup's success is their team chemistry. It was a struggle in the first few weeks, especially on the defensive side, where some players were out due to injuries and had to rely on the underclassmen with little varsity experience. Players such as Belle Alexander, Olivia Rodriguez and SydneyAchilles stepped up in the starting role, along with the veteran group of Jaycee Burghart, Mary Ann Wurm and Daphne Carrillo. The Bullpups still shut out six teams and only giving up no higher than two goals.
"I think our whole team has been connecting very well," Godwin said. "We've been passing a lot better this year, and I think it's the team bond that we have. There can be drama, but there's no drama. It's not brought on to the field. Everyone lets that go, and then we're all a team."
It is also good to have one goalkeeper on the team. Not for the Bullpups however, as they have two protecting the net. The Bullpups recorded 62 saves with Schieferecke having a .800 save percentage. Hett is starting to get back in full form after sitting out the first half of the season while recovering from a hand injury. With her returning to the rotation, Schieferecke would get the start in the first half while Hett would take over the second half.
"We've always been competing, and we're just so close that we know how to push each other to make us better," Hett said. "Whatever happens, we're going to do our best. The rotation has been working for us, and if that works, we're going to keep doing it."
The Bullpups have four more games left before the start of postseason. It won't be a walk in the park either, starting Friday when they take on Newton High School at home. Then they have two more road games against Winfield and Maize South team, a team that them their only loss earlier this season. Then will close out the year against their other league-foe Buhler at home.
"We're going come out and compete as hard as we can, and we're going hold our own and show them that we're not just some ....rural school, Schieferecke said. "We're here to compete and show them what we got."
Contact Peter Holland Jr. by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @Petes_Picks_orour sports page @MacCountySports