Drew Schrader was on the verge of a rare double hat trick, but a five-goal performance will have to do. Schrader led the McPherson High School boys soccer team to a 6-1 victory over Salina Central High School during the Class 5A regional opener on a cold, Tuesday evening.
The last time McPherson faced the Mustangs on Sept. 19, Schrader was limited to 40 minutes and didn't play in the second half. McPherson's coach Chris Adrian knew before the start of kickoff that Schrader was about to have a big night.
"He wanted it more. He had that look in his eyes in warmup today that it was going to be a good day for him," Adrian said. "Our goal all season long was to have him as close to 100 percent as possible when it matters, and you saw it today what he can do in that situation."
Schrader is no stranger to hat tricks as he has three this season and 23 total goals of the year, but a five-goal performance is a career-high for the senior, and it ties a school record for most goals in a single game, which is also held by Nick Torres and Britton Haigh. Salina Central struggled in disrupting ball movements and combo attacks by the Bullpups. McPherson recorded 12 shots-on-goal while the Mustangs had three.
"Last time we played them I didn't really get behind, but they really had a high line today, so it was easy for our midfielders to get the ball and play through," Schrader said. "Our outside wings opened up a lot of space for me to run, so props to Jael (Jaime) and Samy (Jaime) for that."
Schraders' rampage began one minute after kickoff to give McPherson an early lead. He would then put up three straight goals in 10 minutes. The Bullpups led 4-0 by the end of the half. He added one more in the first minute in the second half. Samy Jaimie gave McPherson's sixth goal to close the book on the Mustangs.
Leo Berkley puts Salina Central on the board midway through the second half to avoid a shutout. Adrian mentioned a strong defensive performance by Haigh, who had a tough task in defending Mustangs' top scorer Malcolm Berkley.
"He did so much dirty work today, which I know is going to go unnoticed, but he deserves a lot of credit for the way he played, "Adrian said.
The Bullpups will return home take on fifth-seed Emporia High School on Thursday at 6 p.m. Emporia defeated Valley Center 7-1 on Monday.
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