After allowing eight goals to Maize South on Tuesday, the Hutchinson High School boys soccer team rebounded with a clean sheet Thursday against McPherson.


Hutchinson scored all three of its goals in the first half — two by Eric Mendoza and the other by David Reyna. Although the Salthawks were held without a goal in the final 40 minutes, Hutchinson still applied plenty of pressure and created numerous scoring chances.


"A team like McPherson or Buhler, it’s easier for the kids to get up for a game like this," Hutchinson head coach Daniel Vieyra said. "There’s not a whole lot of motivation I need to do for them."


McPherson goalkeeper Kelvin Peterson had a busy night, finishing with 14 saves. Without a solid effort from Peterson, the game could have been even more lopsided.


"[Peterson] did fantastic," McPherson head coach Chris Adrian said. "He was aggressive coming out, which he has to be. He made some really good saves and he made some really good decisions. He’s becoming more confident every game, and this should be a great game to boost his confidence."


Mendoza scored his first goal 13 minutes into the game. Reyna doubled the lead about 10 minutes later, and Mendoza put the Salthawks up by three on a penalty kick with 7:55 left in the first half.


Vieyra said the first half was the toughest 40 minutes his team has played all season long.


"It was hard to keep that same level of intensity in the second half," Vieyra said. "Those first 40 minutes we came out hard and focused. We’re progressing nicely. We played a good 65-70 minutes tonight."


McPherson played better in the second half, and it was no secret why.


Cody Achilles, one of two McPherson seniors, placed eighth at the league cross country meet in El Dorado earlier in the day. After running a 5K in 17:01, Achilles drove to Hutchinson to make it back in time for the second half.


Achilles entered the game with 26 minutes left, and immediately drew a penalty. Although the Bullpups did not put one in the back of the net, their odds increased with Achilles on the field.


"What we struggled with in the first half is what he brings — he plays aggressive, and we lacked that in the first half," Adrian said. "I think the first half was good for guys to see that we can’t rely on one, two, three or four players, and I saw more guys in the second half start to step up.


"Credit to Hutchinson — they’re a really good team, and their seniors played fantastic."


Hutchinson improves to 6-8 on the season and heads to Maize (11-2-1) on Tuesday. McPherson drops to 7-7 and travels to Circle (0-12) on Tuesday.