Thursday, August 23, 2012
MA soccer team keeps improving
The Marshall Academy soccer squad lost a home game to Immanuel last week and a road doubleheader in Louisiana.
Immanuel 4 MA 0
Coach Lance McGregor said the home setback Thursday was “by far the best we’ve played this year.”
The Lady Rams’ first goal came when the ball took a big hop over goalie Abby Sanders’ head.
“The second goal, we allowed them to work inside our defense, and we have to get in there quicker and force her back out,” he said.
It was 2-0 at the half.
Immanuel added a pair of second-half goals, one on a penalty kick and another on a long shot out of the keeper’s reach.
“Abby had several great saves in the game, and we really had some girls step up and fill some voids,” McGregor said.
He said M.C. Hutchens showed her toughness, after taking a strong shot to the face, plus Bailey Blaker and Audrey Poole “stepped up big.”
“We were able to finally get a few shots off in the game,” McGregor said. “I really felt we outplayed them at times and was very pleased with the effort of our team.”
He said Peyton Stephenson and Wesleyann Ray provided some spark on offense with key passes and getting the ball up the field.
River Oaks 5 MA 0
The Lady Pats made the long road trip to Monroe, La., Saturday to face River Oaks.
“In the first game, we were a little slow from the start,” McGregor said.
He said he shuffled some girls around and there was some confusion on assignments.
“We played better in the middle of the field but were a little soft on defense, and they did a nice job of executing on the corner kicks,” McGregor said. “We did a much better job on throw-ins, both offensively and defensively.”
He said his young team must learn to spread the field and avoid bunching.
“We looked good in the second half again and showed signs of promise,” McGregor said.
River Oaks 8 MA 0
He said corner kicks were again “our undoing” in the second game.
“Plus, we made a few small mistakes that led to unnecessary goals,” McGregor said.
“I really felt like the girls did a better job of moving the ball and we made some nice passes. We have to do a better job of receiving goal kicks and battling for position and have to get out of the habit of waiting on the ball.
“I felt we played harder in the second game, but River Oaks also did a much better job of executing. Our balance on defense was a little off at times and we have do to a better job of working as a unit.
“I keep having to remind myself of our youthfulness and must remain patient. This team has really bright days ahead and will be fun to watch grow.”
He said the opposing coach from River Oaks complimented the Lady Patriots.
“He was talking about our potential and how we are going to be a team do deal with two years from now,” McGregor said. “New girls are continuously gaining interest in the program, and things are really looking up. What I love about these girls is they play hard and want to keep improving. This is a high character group.”
The Lady Pats (0-7) traveled to Lee (Clarksdale) Tuesday. They host Magnolia Heights Thursday at 5:30 p.m and host Bayou Saturday at 1 p.m.
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