McPHERSON — Topeka Hayden beat McPherson 1-0 in the championship game of the Class 4-1A girls soccer tournament Saturday.
McPherson play exceptional defense. Snyder Ruder had six saves, three in each half, and the game’s only goal came in the second half when she left her goal momentarily and Margaret Dunshee scored on a 25-yard kick in the left corner.
The second-place finish is McPherson’s best in girls soccer and was accomplished with all underclassmen. Coach Chris Adrian said he was pleased with the effort from his team against Topeka Hayden’s 14 seniors, and he believed this was his team’s best showing.
“The effort was there. We played our best game of the year. That’s all I can ask for,” Adrian said. “Hayden’s a really good team, but our future is so bright. We showed we can play and we won’t be underdogs for very long.”
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After the game Hayden coach Klaus Kreutzer said McPherson earned his respect.
“For as young as they are they were tougher than I expected after watching them play last night,” Kreutzer said. “But as I said before: When you get to this stage you have to come to play. They were motivated which made us work harder.”
While McPherson will keep its entire team, Topeka Hayden will have to reload its team top to bottom. Through four years Hayden’s senior class has brought home three state championships and one runner-up finish, losing in last year’s final to Trinity Academy.
Adrian is expecting his team to make a similar run as his girls continue to advance.
“We wanted to win even though we weren’t supposed to,” Adrian said. “This is the foundation for us these next couple of years. It was 14 experienced seniors versus none. And us making it this far wasn’t scheduled. People thought we wouldn’t get this far.”
Adrian said expectations in McPherson will now be greater and he expects his team to embrace it and use this loss as motivation this summer.
“We were one goal away this year,” Adrian said. “We’re going to get there.”
Second half — Dunshee (Margaret). Shots — Hayden 25, McPherson 2. Saves — Hayden, Lawlor, 1; McPherson, Ruder, 6.