Thursday, August 15, 2013
MA downs Immanuel for first win
By BARRY BURLESON
Coach Lance McGregor said his Marshall Academy soccer squad “left it all on the field” Friday night.
The result was the Lady Patriots’ first win of the season. They knocked off Immanuel Christian 3-2 at Steens (near Columbus).
“We have girls who are beat up and banged up with bruises and scrapes and yet they really sacrificed their bodies Friday,” he said. “I can’t emphasize how much I appreciate the way the girls stepped up and showed signs of the promise I see within them.”
The victory pushed MA’s season mark to 1-4 after losses earlier in the week to Manchester and Indianola.
“It was a great sight to see the girls hugging and celebrating after the game, because it was a big accomplishment for them, but I expect to see more,” McGregor said.
The Lady Pats got off to a slow start, but about 20 minutes into the game, M.C. Hutchens weaved her way through the Lady Rams’ defense and scored.
“It was pure effort play,” McGregor said.
About 10 minutes later, Peyton Stephenson got into the box and scored to give Marshall a 2-0 lead.
“As the half went on, the girls really had established themselves as the harder-working team and we were controlling the ball and the flow of the game,” he said.
However, right before the break, Immanuel pushed the ball down the field. A handball call on MA gave Immanuel a direct kick, which found its way into the net.
Right after halftime, the Lady Rams scored again to knot the score at 2.
“We again had a mishap that led to the equalizing goal,” McGregor said.
Then with just a couple of minutes left in the game, Audrey Poole was able to get a pass off to teammate Allison Cratin, who connected for her first career goal.
“And it couldn’t have come at a better time,” McGregor said about the game-winner.
He said the Lady Pats simply found a way to win.
“I’m pretty certain that every girl on this team came up with a huge play at some point,” McGregor said.
“For a group of girls with only one true high schooler (Hutchens) to show this kind of effort early on (in the season) is great. This is eventually going to be a special group.”
Goalie Abby Sanders said, “We have improved so much and it showed through this game. Words can’t explain how proud I am of this team.”
The Lady Pats, in their home opener, fell 5-0 to Manchester Monday, Aug. 5.
The visitors scored first about 10 minutes into the game on a free kick and their second goal came off a corner kick. Their next three goals came late in the contest.
“We have to be more disciplined on defense and keep our balance,” McGregor said. “It was a frustrating game as we didn’t play our best soccer and were lacking energy at times.”
Marshall dropped a 4-0 decision to Indianola Academy Wednesday of last week on a hot day in the Delta.
“I was really glad we had some subs,” McGregor said about the heat. “Some girls were asked to play positions they weren’t familiar with at times, and for the most part, did a good job.”
However, he said the heat was no excuse for the way his Lady Patriots played in the first 10 minutes.
Two minutes into the game, the Lady Colonels attacked straight up the middle and went ahead 1-0. They added another goal a couple minutes later.
“The third goal was an ugly play on our our behalf as a ball was played through the box and we had three different girls attempt to clear it and each didn’t make contact,” said. “I can’t figure how that happened but it allowed an easy tap-in.”
Indianola added another goal about 20 minutes in for a 4-0 lead.
“I was very upset with the lack of effort and the simple breakdowns in the first half,” McGregor said. “At the half we talked about pride and what our expectations were as we move forward into the season. You could see the girls were not happy with their effort.
“I was very pleased with the effort in the second half and I felt the girls did a great job of responding and playing with great energy.”
He said offensively in the second half Poole made some “really nice passes.” Hutchens, Cratin and Peyton Stephenson had scoring tries that weren’t able to find the back of the net.
“Indianola is a quality team,” McGregor said. “It was great to see us gain confidence as the game went on.”
The Lady Patriots visited Lee Monday. Next Monday, Aug. 19, they host Bayou at 5 p.m.
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