The real fun begins. The McPherson High School girls soccer team looks to make a run in the Class 5A State Tournament, starting on Tuesday when the Lady Pups host third seed Valley Center High School in the quarterfinals.
Valley Center is going into this match with a 16-1 record. The Hornet's' only loss came from Goddard-Eisenhower High School. Bullpup's Head Coach Chris Adrian sees a tough matchup from the midfielders. The defense could be the key of beating the Hornets.
Skill-wise, they are very strong," Adrian said. "They dominate games in midfield, so that's going to be a battle because we believe that's the strength of our team as well. So Hannah (Hageman), Jaycee (Burghart) Daphne (Carrillo), Belle (Alexander) and all those girls. We're going to need all of them to play to their potential on Tuesday."
Winner will advance to the semifinals to take on the winner of the Bishop Carroll and Maize South game. Bishop Carroll is the top seeded team in the South/Central Division.
All season long, the Bullpups were overlooked and underestimated because of the lack of competitors in their schedule compared to the metro league teams. That didn't bother McPherson. The Bullpups won 13 in a row, including 11 shutouts. Adrian have something different in mind in what their season is about.
"That is something we don't talk about before the last game with the girls because we're not going to play hard to prove a point to someone else," Adrian said. "We know what we can do. We played hard and worked hard to get to this position right now. We're doing this for our teammates and the senior class."
In the last few weeks, the Bullpups were starting to catch a buzz. Also ever since they beat Kapaun Mt.Carmel High School last week, it is likely teams are now starting to play close attention. A win against Valley Center in the quarterfinals could send a message for whoever makes it the final four.
"I would imagine people see Kapaun 4-0, and I would take notice a bit and maybe not looking forward to playing us," Adrian said. "Our last few games of the regular season prepared us greatly for this moment"
Kickoff of the quarterfinals will begin at 6 p.m. at McPherson Stadium.
Contact Peter Holland Jr. by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @Petes_Picks_orour sports page @MacCountySports