Thursday’s match between the Hutchinson High School boys soccer team and Andover Central was a battle of physicality and competitiveness.


However, it was Andover Central who left the Salthawk Complex victorious after defeating Hutch 2-1, remaining unbeaten at 3-0, while Hutchinson drops to 1-1.


It was scoreless for most of the first half, but Hutchinson made four shots on goal that were saved by Jags’ goalkeeper Brandon Bumgarner - three of which hit the crossbar.


Bumgarner would eventually finish the night with nine saves for the Jaguars.


"He’s so good," Central head coach Steven Huskey said. "Heading into late last year, seeing him at practice as a varsity backup.


"We had so many great goalkeepers over the years at the high school level. He’s going to continue to progress. There were a handful of saves that would’ve been goals."


After hitting the 27-minute mark, the Jags were on the board first led by the passing attack of Jacob White to Caden Spooner. White had split two defenders before making his signature pass to Spooner.


Hutchinson answered back with a goal of its own. Eric Mendoza scored off a free kick despite Bumgarner having his hand on the ball.


Just like that, the game was tied at halftime.


"He’s kind of our engine in the middle even though he plays hard and well for us, and we tried to find him and the good distributor as you could tell on the first goal," Salthawks head coach Daniel Vieyra said about Mendoza. "He’s one of our captains that I can turn to and he’ll pick us up when we need to."


The match continued to be a dog fight through the second half. Bodies were flying during tackles, defenders and full backs were fighting for the ball, and plenty of collisions were made as if it was a football game on Friday night.


At 34:29, the Jags regained the lead after a goal by Jake Fimreite. The defense held on for the rest of the match, while Hutch struggled to make any shooting attempts compared to the first half.


Despite the loss, Vieyra knows Andover Central is a solid team who will help the Salthawks improve.


"I’m proud of the effort we had," Vieyra said. "We had our chances, we weren’t able to get one and get us over the hump. They are a good team and we knew coming in that it was going to be physical and we didn’t back down. We competed with them, so I was proud of our effort."


The Salthakws are back on the road on Tuesday to take on Valley Center. Game time is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.