Thursday, August 20, 2009
MA soccer team drops two
The Marshall Academy soccer team played Indianola and Manchester close in the first halves of the games last week but saw the opposing squads pull away from there.
MA vs. Indianola
The Lady Patriots found themselves outnumbered versus Indianola Tuesday, Aug. 11, and lost 9-0 to the Lady Colonels.
MA fell behind 1-0 in the first 20 minutes and missed a shot to tie during that same stretch.
“For those 20 minutes I felt the girls really challenged and looked to be the better team as far as effort and communication were concerned and I really liked our chances,” said coach Lance McGregor. “Then the numbers game came into play, and I hate to use this as an excuse but 25 girls to 11 is tough to overcome. We had three players out due to injury and another gone on a family vacation. They did a nice job of running players in and out and because of a few mental mistakes on our part, they were able to wear our defense down and get some goals to go into the half at 3-0.”
Gone from the lineup were Sarah Cunningham (eye infection), Kristin Mynatt (turf toe) and Megan Isbell (family vacation).
Also Reagan Elliott went down early in the second half with an ankle injury, leaving Marshall without any substitutes.
“That’s when they blew the game open, by scoring six more times in the next 15 minutes to take a 9-0 lead,” McGregor said. “A lot of the credit goes to the Indianola girls because they really capitalize on opportunities. Every time we would have a break in our defense, they found it and connected with a goal at a high percentage.
“The second half you could really tell the ladies were drained, but we have to be able to dig deep down and find that little extra push.”
He complimented the play of Sara Walker.
“She played with maximum effort the entire game, and you could see her flying all over the field,” McGregor said. “She was easily the best player on the field for either team that day. However, soccer is a team sport and there wasn’t a lot of help on defense. We are improving and learning quickly but we have to close the gap soon.”
He said Chrissy Farris is doing some “nice things in goal.”
“She is picking up some things really fast; she just has to be more aggressive on the field,” McGregor said.
He expects his Lady Patriots to bounce back.
“I explained to them that we didn’t have a lot of fun and it can be tough to have fun in that situation but we just have to remember it is a game and we need to bring the fun back,” McGregor said. “A lot of people can look at the score and say we weren’t very good; but as far as I’m concerned, it wasn’t the quality, but rather the quantity, and I have no doubts they will be able to shake this off.
“I really look for players like Amanda Rhea, Claire Liddy, Ali Hutchens and Lauralee Fant to become a strong force in the upcoming games. But right now we are just not getting the ball up the field to them, as we only had one shot on goal in the first half.”
MA vs. Manchester
Coach McGregor said “disappointed” was the best word to describe a 6-0 setback Thursday in Yazoo City.
“I refuse to be disappointed in the girls, but there were certain areas that were disappointing against Manchester,” he said. “Again we struggled to get the ball ahead to our playmakers and they had numerous opportunities due to us being out of position and not getting back on defense.”
Manchester scored on two of its first three shots early, but Marshall picked up its efforts and trailed by just 2-0 at the half.
He said Mynatt did a nice job at times at goalie.
“But we have to get her to be more aggressive and she understands that,” McGregor said. “Other teams have a high shooting percentage on us, but it’s not all on the goalie. We have to be able to help her out and avoid passes to the middle of the field, be more willing to challenge for the ball, and do a better job of clearing. After she (Mynatt) settled down and started coming out to force the issue she had saves on the next 10 shots.”
His said his Lady Patriots became more of an attacking team in the second half. M.C. Hutchens, Walker, Liddy and Ali Hutchens had some really nice looks at the goal in the second half but Manchester’s goalie knocked the balls away.
Manchester only had five shots on goal in the second half, but the problem was they scored on four of those opportunities.
Isbell and Walker were taking turns releasing up the field to try and help on offense, with both doing some really nice things, McGregor said.
“Where I’m most proud of these two is the fact they never give up,” he said. “They were trying to disrupt Manchester’s breakaways and were successful on many occasions, but without any help, they wore down. Right now we honestly have seven girls playing their hearts out and are keeping us in the game for as long as they can, but we really have to have a couple more girls step up and make some plays.
“In soccer you can’t win games when only a portion of the team is putting forth the effort you need to succeed. After the game I talked to the girls and you could see a lot of disappointment on several of the girls’ faces, and to me this is a good sign because it lets me know that they care. I really feel like if we can get back to having fun and get that first win, it will take the pressure off and we can turn this thing around in a hurry. We have too many talented players not to be competitive.”
He said he does plan to make some major changes in the lineup going into this week’s games, plus he plans to try a different formation.
“I am still proud of these girls and I stand behind them 100 percent, and they can, and they will, turn it around,” McGregor said.
The Lady Patriots hosted Bayou Monday and played River Oaks, the defending state champs, Tuesday at Indianola.
Thursday of next week, Aug. 27, they host Immanuel Christian.
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