The Winfield High School boys soccer team had a solid game plan Tuesday afternoon against visiting McPherson. But the Bullpups were still too much, turning back the Vikings 3-1 in Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League D-III play at Richard L. Jantz Stadium.
The first two goals by the Bullpups (9-4, 3-1 AV-CTL D-III) came off of corner kicks. The first, by Trenton Stecklein with 8:09 left in the first half, tied the game 1-1.
“After three fairly lackluster games, the guys took the game plan that we designed and really executed it nicely,” WHS coach Charles Osen said. “McPherson is a team that possesses the ball a lot, so instead of chasing them all around, we tried to force them to the outside. They are lethal going through the middle and we had to take something away. It is frustrating that we couldn’t clear the ball on two corners, otherwise, who knows how this would have ended.”
Junior Ty Biby put the Vikings (4-10, 3-2) ahead won a long ball near midfield and outran the McPherson defense midway through the first half.
“We figured with our alignment, we could get their outside backs to cheat up on their attack and maybe that would create a good chance to counter them,” Osen said. “Ty did a great job of winning a long ball from their center backs and he made the most of his opportunity and finished; that was a big boost for us.”
Jael Jamie gave McPherson the lead off a corner kick 10 minutes into the second half. The Pullpups tacked on an insurance score two minutes later by Drew Schrader.
“When we fell behind 3-1, our guys did not drop their heads — they continued to battle,” Osen said. “With about four minutes left, Kameron Knowles nearly put one in, which would have been huge. He did everything right, just missed barely wide left.”
David Pape recorded five saves in goal for the Vikings. Nathan Lloyd stopped two shots for McPherson.
The Vikings have two more dates before postseason play, beginning tonight at home against Goddard (3-10) on Senior Night. They end the regular season next Tuesday at Mulvane (2-11).
“If we can play with that focus and energy, we have a good chance in our final two games of the regular season,” Osen said.
McPherson 3, Winfield 1
W — Ty Biby (unassisted), 18:24.
M — Trenton Stecklein (unassisted), 8:09.
M — Jael Jamie (unassisted), 29:49.
M — Drew Schrader (unassisted), 27:14.
Goalkeepers — McPherson, Nathan Lloyd (2 saves). Winfield, David Pape (5 saves). Total Shots — McPherson 14, Winfield 5. Corner Kicks — McPherson 7, Winfield 2. Fouls — McPherson 5, Winfield 6.