Marshall kicks off soccer season Tuesday

The Marshall Academy soccer team is used to adversity. And this season will be no different. The roster includes just 12 players in a sport where 11 are on the field. “It means most girls will go 80 minutes (two 40-minute halves), and that’s going to take its toll on them,” said David Hoggatt, entering his third season as head coach. The Lady Patriots will be competing against mostly larger schools with rosters of 20 or more players. “Every year we face the same type of adversity – lack of numbers and then injuries,” he said. “We’ve been down to nine girls in some games. “But we’ve done a tremendous job of battling and overcoming adversity. This year will be no different. We have to see it as a challenge rather than an obstacle.” The MA girls tied two games last year and had their chances versus other opponents. But Hoggatt said the goal in 2019 is not about the scoreboard. “The biggest thing is giving a relentless effort every time we get on the field,” he said. “That’s our motto. “We’ve been so close and just haven’t been able to finish games. We’re certainly hoping to get over the hump.”

The Lady Patriots lost one senior, Kelli Rhea, who was a key player on last year’s squad.

“We have a good group of about six or seven girls who have been starting the past two years,” Hoggatt said.

Hoggatt will be looking to four seniors for leadership this year. They are veteran players Erin Burleson, Kristy Wang and Keranie Jones and newcomer Amanda Barnett.

The remainder of the roster includes three eighth-graders, a freshman, two sophomores and two juniors.

The new district includes familiar foes, along with Macon Road (Tenn.) which MA has never played. Columbus Christian, who has been a regular on the schedule, is now a district opponent. Other district members are Indianola Academy, Kirk Academy and Lee Academy. Non-district foes are Tupelo Home School, Heritage Academy and Magnolia Heights.

“Like I said, it’s our goal to get more energy and finish out some games strongly,” Hoggatt said.

The Lady Patriots open the season next Tuesday, Aug. 6, at home versus Macon Road. Game-time is 4 p.m. They will host Columbus Christian at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 8.

Holly Springs South Reporter

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