With only four more games left, every game counts for the McPherson High School boys soccer team with the top seed and home-field advantage at stake. On Tuesday night, Eight different Bullpups scored as McPherson shut out winless Circle High School 10-0 and improve to 10-2 on the season.
The Bullpups were up 9-0 by the end of the first half. McPherson needed just one more goal to avoid playing in the second half and call it a night. McPherson had plenty of chances with the 20 shots on goal recorded., but time ran out.
"We played down to their level today, and they did see that score—I had to get on them in the locker room just because the focus wasn't there where it normally is," Bullpups Head coach Chris Adrian said. "We just got to go one game at a time. Come out and play your game. We want teams not be excited to play us. When postseason gets here, we want people to think about McPherson— that's the team you don't want to see, and that's what we've been talking about a lot with these seniors this year."
The Thunderbirds did show some fight, including their goalkeeper Trevor Hammer. Despite the 10 goals, Hammer collected 11 saves for Circle.
"You got to give them some credit," Adrian said. "I imagine it would be easy when it was 7-0 and see there are 10 minutes left. We haven't won a game this year to fold and not go hard, but credit to them and their coach for keeping them going."
Cody Achilles had a big night as he scored two goals for the Bullpups and three assists. He could've had more as he was active the entire night, making his shot attempts. There was no question, Achilles could've already had his first hat trick of the year, if not more.
"Achilles was everywhere," Adrian said. "The first 10 minutes, he probably could've got five goals if it weren't for a couple of hits in the post, the keeper making some saves and getting a little unlucky, but he was excited about the opportunity to play forward because typically he's been our outside back, but this was the game with an opportunity to come out and attack from the front foot. You can tell he was ready for it."
Jael Jaime was also one goal away from a hat-trick after scoring back-to-back goals in less than three minutes into the first half. He's also credited for two assists on Samy Jaime's goal, which put the Bullpups on the board, and Achilles' second goal late in the first half. Caden Hardgrave, Tyler Hoxie, Drew Schrader, Trenton Stecklein and Britton Haigh each scored one goal.
The Bullpups finally get some deserved rest as they are off for the rest of the week. It's also a chance for them to put a full week of practice before their next matches.
"It's huge for us. We need some rest, and we also need a little bit of consistent practice time because that's always the struggle when you play Tuesdays and Thursdays," Adrian said. "What you work on Monday, it's hard to translate to Wednesday and Friday, and things get broken up. To have back-to-back practice really give us the opportunity to work on it."
The Bullpups will host Winfield High School next Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
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