Thursday, September 17, 2009
MA soccer squad earns first victory
Smiles, laughs and hugs were plentiful on the Marshall Academy soccer field late Thursday afternoon.
The Lady Patriots beat Manchester 4-2 in overtime for their first victory of the season.
“I could not ask for much more from my team than what they gave today,” said Lance McGregor, the first-year coach who just dodged a bath of water and ice from his players. “They did an absolutely wonderful job of coming out and competing and executing. Everyone played as a team.”
MA opened up the scoring with a corner kick from Amanda Rhea in the 11th minute. It slipped through the goalie’s outstretched arms, and Ali Hutchens was there for the finish.
Manchester was able to even up the score with a minute to go before half on a defensive mishap, McGregor said.
“I told the ladies at half I loved their effort but they have to remember to play to win and not play too conservatively,” he said.
In the second half, the Lady Mavericks struck first with another lapse in the Marshall defense.
With the Lady Patriots on the fringe of another one-point loss, Lauralee Fant fought her way through the defense for a goal to tie the game at two in the 77th minute.
“Lauralee gave a tremendous effort,” McGregor said.
In overtime, Marshall got a goal from M.C. Hutchens in the 83rd minute.
“This was her first as a Lady Patriot and she has been really frustrated but will become a special player,” he said. “That is an absolute huge shot for anyone to make, especially a seventh grader.”
In the 93rd minute Fant was on another break and was fouled from behind.
“We let Amanda take the shot and she curled it over the wall and goalie for a two-goal lead,” McGregor said. “Those last seven minutes lasted forever, but the ladies came out with a well deserved victory.”
In regulation, the Lady Mavericks had a costly mental error that prevented a goal. They had a penalty kick after Megan Isbell committed a handball in the box. They hit on their first penalty kick try but due to one of their players entering the box too soon, they had to kick again and it hit the bar and the Lady Patriots were able to clear it.
Coach McGregor praised his Lady Patriots for their performance.
“Our passes were more on target,” he said. “The mids did a nice job of distributing and the defense found a way to keep the ball out of the box most times.
“Kristin Mynatt (goalie) played her best game for us so far. Their two goals were not on the goalie, but on breakdowns in our defense. That’s the only thing we had trouble with. We kept losing our marks and allowing them to get open.
“We were playing timid at times but we really learned a lesson and the effort the last 50 minutes was great. I could not pick a player of the game today as I felt the whole team contributed greatly. It was a great site to see.
“Manchester is, in my opinion, the toughest and most well coached opponent we’ve played this year. The girls now have something to build on and carry over to next week.”
The Lady Patriots hosted Magnolia Heights Monday of this week.
MA versus Bayou
The Lady Patriots lost a 2-1 road game earlier last week to Bayou.
“This game was ours to give away and that’s exactly what we did,” McGregor said.
The Lady Patriots struck first in the eighth minute with a goal from Megan Isbell on a pass from Rachel Cole.
In the 20th minute the Lady Colts had their first shot and it found the net for the tie. The score stayed knotted at 1 until half.
“Late in the half we had a shot on goal from Claire Liddy and the defender threw her hands up above her head and knocked the ball down,” he said. “When asked about this, the explanation that was given was that if he would have called it then it would have taken the advantage away from us. I’m not sure how that is so however as we would have had a penalty kick. This call by no means was the difference in the game. We didn’t play up to our potential and have to find consistency from one game to the next.”
Bayou got a second-half goal to win it.
McGregor said he was really pleased with the effort of Ali Hutchens and Sara Walker “as they kept us in the game.”
He said Liddy tried to get MA started on offense but many times found double and triple teams with little help.
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