Thursday, August 9, 2012
Marshall drops three
A young and mostly inexperienced Marshall Academy soccer team began the season last week with three losses.
The Lady Patriots went to Yazoo City for their opener July 31 and fell 7-0 to Manchester Academy.
“We had a lot of jitters in this game early on as it was most of the girls’ first time playing,” coach Lance McGregor said. “We were down 5-0 at the half and a lot of mistakes were evident.
“The girls responded well in the second half and corrected some of the mistakes we had made earlier in the game. There is a lot to be learned and it will be a process but we have a good character group of girls.”
He said he was pleased with the play of M.C. Hutchens and Lori Simpson.
“Also Maggie Livingston really stepped up to the challenge and showed some real potential,” he said. “Abby Sanders is showing a lot of growth as a goal keeper and truly has a tough side to her.”
The MA girls then dropped their home opener Wednesday of last week, 5-0 to Lee (Clarksdale) Academy.
“We had a lot better effort in this game and I was especially pleased with the effort given in the first half,” McGregor said. “We went into the half at 0-0 and it was good to see the encouragement in the girls’ faces.
“In the second half we began to wear down a bit and made some silly mistakes that led to goals. A lot of the girls really sold out and put their body on the line for the team.”
He said his team battled through injuries.
“Maggie gave an incredible effort to save a goal on a mishandled ball and she came up a little bit hurt after getting kicked while on the ground,” McGregor said. “M.C. rolled her ankle while clearing a ball. Erin Williams got kicked in the knee pretty good and Lori had her toe smashed. It meant a lot to me that each of the girls were eager to get back out there after being banged up. I really love the toughness that they showed and it’s a testament of how hard they really do work.”
He said Sanders improved in goal and both Peyton Stephenson and Sarah Jackson stepped up their game and did some good things.
“M.C., Lori and Maggie all had very good games as well,” McGregor said.
He is excited about watching the young team grow.
“Overall we have to continue to work and to learn the game,” he said. “We must learn from our mistakes and keep pushing each other to get better. It’s definitely going to be a process, but we have some tools in place for future success. We just have to keep fighting to get better and avoid discouragement.”
The Lady Pats then hosted Manchester Friday on the MA campus and dropped a closer 5-0 decision this time around.
“We were a lot more competitive today and played with a good bit more effort than our previous meeting,” McGregor said. “We allowed two first half goals but only one was earned. Again they only earned one goal in the second half. The other three goals in the match could be linked to inexperience and finding players out of position or not getting to position in time.
“Our defense is coming along nicely and the strikers showed more life today.
“We were able to get two good looks (at the goal), one by Bailey Blaker on a cross where the keeper made a nice save, and later by Parker Stephenson, who just pushed it wide. We do have to do a better job of communicating and the mids have to step their game up and start making passes instead of kicking with no purpose.
“It was good to see Bailey step up, and Peyton Stephenson was all over the field and it seems her motor never quits running. Abby, M.C., Lori and Maggie all had strong games.”
The Lady Pats visited Immanuel Christian Tuesday of this week. They host Immanuel next Thursday, Aug. 16, at 5 p.m.
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