ROSE HILL—The Maize South Invitational is behind the McPherson High School boys soccer team, and on Tuesday evening, the Bullpups went to Rose Hill High School to shut out the Rockets 3-0 to improve to 5-1 of the year.

The Bullpups were challenged early on as the game went scoreless in the first half. Head Coach Chris Adrian gave props to the Rockets for making it a defensive battle. The Bullpups still had the upper hand.

"Rose Hill defended well in the first half, and their goalkeeper made several big saves, but our possession really wore them down," Adrian said. "I was really pleased with how the team played tonight," Adrian said. "For the first time this year, we dominated the possession of the ball and knocked it around."

Adrian also mentioned the performance of both Cody Achilles and Connor Olsen. Achilles made his presence known on defense that helped paved the way in the Bullpups' first shutout of the season. Olsen made his first varsity start for McPherson.

"Two players that really impressed me tonight were Cody Achilles and Connor Olsen," Adrian said. "Cody, on defense, was really strong and gave the team an attacking threat out of the backline. Connor Olsen played with so much composure. His passes and movement helped create numerous opportunities for others to score."

The Bullpups dominated in the second half, especially Drew Schrader as he scored his second hat trick of the year. The Bullpups had plenty more opportunities to put more points on the board, collecting 11 shots on goal.

" I thought our attack was much more balanced," Adrian said. "Britton Haigh could have easily had two or three goals tonight if it wasn't for some great saves, and Samy and Jael Jaime were getting more opportunities to use their skill and pace to beat defenders one-on-one."

Nathan Lloyd picked up five saves even though he didn't have to be rely upon all night. McPherson's defense closed out the match by killing the clock and creating more pressure on Rose Hill.

"The boys came out strong in the second half and scored two quick goals to ease the pressure," Adrian said. "The team then did a nice job of playing smart for the final 30 minutes, and Nathan Lloyd didn't have a lot to do."

The Bullpups will return on the road to take on Salina Central on Thursday at 6:15 p.m.

Contact Peter Holland Jr. by email at pholland@mcphersonsentinel.com or follow him on Twitter @Petes_Picks_