GREAT BEND— A 2-2 draw was not what the McPherson High School boys soccer team had in mind but will have to settle for the tie on Thursday night against Great Bend High School to end the regular season before the start of regionals.
There was plenty of bad blood and hostility at Great Bend. It is something Bullpups coach Chris Adrian did not enjoy at all. However, the Bullpups fought on despite the disadvantages. Jael Jaime had a strong first half but took some blows from the Panthers that he didn't return after halftime.
"Tonight was a frustrating game, and not the type of contest the boys needed before postseason play begins to be honest," Adrian said. "The game was full of fouls and injuries and was allowed to get out of control at times. That being said, it was great to see the boys overcome adversity and play in a really hostile environment. Jael Jaime had a really nice first half but unfortunately was kicked so many times he was not able to play in the second half."
The Bullpups recorded seven shots on goal.Tyler Hoxie was the Bullpups' top performer as he scored all two goals. His second goal tied the game after trailing 2-1.
Adrian also credited Trenton Stecklein for making some defensive stops that avoided Great Bend from regaining the lead, and Nathan Lloyd collected six saves.
"Tyler Hoxie was the man of the match and played great in the midfield," Adrian said. "He scored both the goals from the PK spot, but his leadership in a tough environment is what really impressed me. Trenton Stecklein also deserves a lot of praise for his performance, especially in the second half and overtime, where he made several big tackles to keep Great Bend from scoring."
McPherson finished the regular season with a 13-2-1 record and now holds the No. 4 seed.The Bullpups will host regionals next Tuesday. The Class 5A brackets come out on Friday evening.
"Hopefully, the players that got banged up nare able to recover in time for next week," Adrian said. "There are no 1st round gimmes in 5A, so hopefully we can be close to 100 percent by Tuesday night."
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