McPherson has advanced to the Class 4A girls soccer championship game for the first time after beating DeSoto 2-0 on Friday afternoon.
It’s been 12 years since McPherson has gotten to the final four, and from the start of the game coach Chris Adrian said his team — of all underclassmen — played with incredible teamwork and poise.
“It’s been an exciting ride coaching this team, and for the first time this postseason they didn't look like they have the pressure on them,” Adrian said. “To think where we were three months ago — or even a year ago — to be at this point is unbelievable. What a huge win for our program.”
McPherson got out to an early lead, freshman Jessie Kynaston scoring after a corner kick in the 30th minute. Kynaston’s play this postseason has been stellar — she has four of the team’s five goals. And she’s doing this coming off the bench.
“She’s a postseason machine,” Adrian said.
McPherson held strong defensively in the second half. McPherson continued to be aggressive on its set plays, particularly going toward the left corner. In the final five minutes McPherson got on the board again on a corner kick off the head of Aislinn Hughes, assisted by Alayna Wallace.
“We have such great teamwork. I was really excited I was able to get the shot in there,” Hughes said. “Alayna put the ball in perfect position — she usually does — and I got in there.”
Wallace has 13 assists for the season, most of them coming from set plays. Adrian said Wallace’s ability to place the ball in the perfect spot for her teammates is a skill that goes unnoticed.
“She’s probably the best set-play kicker in 4A,” Adrian said.
Adrian said Saturday’s championship game is considered a bonus because all of his players will return next season and he expects them to be more seasoned and better players.
“Everything we do this year is setting the foundation what we will do next year and beyond,” Adrian said. “We’re coming in as underdogs tomorrow. We want that role.”
First half – Kynaston (Wallace). Second half — Hughes (Wallace). Shots — DeSoto 7, McPherson 8. Saves — DeSoto, Peterson, 3; McPherson, Ruder, 6.