By William for www.mcpherson-county-ks.com


MAIZE – It took more than just regulation time and nearly a whole round of penalty kicks before the McPherson High boys soccer team managed to outduel Salina South in the semifinal round of the Maize South Tournament on Thursday in Maize.

With the Bullpups scoring just twice during regulation play on a first half goal from Tyler Hoxie and then a second half score by Britton Haigh, Salina South was able to match them and that left the scoreboard knotted up at 2 scores each to send the game into tournament overtime. During the regulation play, the Bullpups had a total of six shots on goal while Nathan Lloyd slapped away two shots on goal by South while manning the goal for McPherson.

According to tournament rules, there is no overtime to be played. Instead the teams tied at the end of regulation immediately go to penalty style kicks to declare the winner and loser of the battle.

During the penalty kick shootout, the Bullpups earned four goals on kicks by Tyler Hoxie, Cody Achilles, Samy Jaime and Drew Schrader, while McPherson’s goalkeeper Nathan Lloyd came up with a save on Salina South’s second attempt, a save that proved to be the difference in winning and losing as South missed their fifth penalty kick in the shootout when it hit the crossbar and bounced away.

The victory keeps the Bullpups unbeaten for the season at 4-0 as they prep to return to Maize on Saturday to battle with host and powerhouse Maize South for the Tournament Championship.

“Credit Salina South for making some really good adjustments after our first meeting last week but these Pups never quit,” noted Bullpup Head Coach Chris Adrian in his post-match reflections. “I am so impressed with this team’s composure and never say die attitude. They went down a goal I the first half and then Tyler (Hoxie) took control of the game and scored a great goal to tie things up right before halfttime which was critical. We then gave up another goal midway through the second half, but the boys didn’t panic. They kept competing and with under ten minutes left, Britton (Haigh) found the ball on top and volleyed it into the goal to tie the game. Trenton (Stecklein) made some great last ditch tackles during the final few minutes of the game to keep the score tied. Everyone of the guys that stepped up to take a penalty kick in overtime buried their chance. Nathan (Lloyd) made a great save on Salina South’s second kicker to give the Pups the lead, then South’s fifth kicker hit the crossbar.”

Looking toward the tournament championship game on Saturday, Coach Hoxie concluded his thoughts by adding, “Every game this team has played has been a highly competitive match against a quality opponent and these Pups keep finding ways to win. I’m extremely happy for these boys and am excited to see what they can do in the finals against a dangerous Maize South team. With it basically being a home game for Maize South, I’m hoping Bullpup nation comes out Saturday to support this special team.”

(Copyright@2019-CrossDove Writers)

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