The Marshall County Lady Tiger Soccer team traveled to Forrest School Tuesday to take on the Lady Rockets in the first round of the District 11-A-AA soccer tournament with hopes of avenging two earlier regular season losses. However, Forrest would take the third match 4-0.
The young Lady Tigers came into the game with a 2-6 regular season district record and the Lady Rockets held an impressive 6-1-1 regular season record.
Before the game Forrest coach, Larry Miller said, "It is very hard to beat a team three times in one season at any sport. We don't want to come all this way and lose in the first round. Hopefully my team is in the right frame of mind and ready to play." The lady Rockets were in the correct frame of mind and they proved it from the outset by starting the game with an early goal just three minutes into the contest. Forrest forward Taylour Allen took in a beautiful cross from the right side by Olivia Collins and hit nothing but the back of the net to set the tone for the night.
The Lady Rockets controlled play for most of the first with a smothering defense and an offense that spent the majority of the half in the Lady Tigers end of the field. MCHS managed a few rushes, but Forrest was up to task every time and broke down the Lady Tigers before any harm was done.
Time and time again, the Lady Rockets played in the MCHS end of the field and had many scoring opportunities. Heather Collins nearly scored at the 22:52 mark of the half, but her header sailed over the crossbar for a near miss. It seemed the entire game would be played in the Lady Tigers half of the field as the Forrest offense ran circles around the MCHS defense with pinpoint passing and tough play. Forrest struck again when junior midfielder Heather Collins stopped an attempted clearing blast with her chest and beat Lady Tiger goalkeeper Janeice Cathey to the top left hand corner of the net as she tried to move out to cut the angle. The Lady Rockets led 2-0 and the Lady Tigers seemed like the air was out of their balloon.
The young MCHS team could not gain much momentum because the Lady Rockets continued to bring the play to them and they were backpedaling to stop the offensive. The eventual stake in the heart goal came at 4:30 left in the first half when freshman standout Anna Wiser scored on a perfect assist from sophomore midfielder Amanda Evans. MCHS trailed 3-0 at the half, but it seemed like a lot more to the beleaguered Tigers who came off the field extremely discouraged and worn out from the Forrest onslaught.
At halftime, Lady Tiger Coach Lisa Raffo implored her troops to "Try Harder! Try harder!, They are out muscling us tonight and we gotta get tougher." The halftime pep talk did very little good for the Lady Tigers as the second half was much the same. The Tigers did manage a bit of fire for a short time but it quickly faded away as the Lady Rockets used their toughness and experience to shut down the MCHS offense the rest of the night. Frustration set in on the Tiger sideline as they seemed to concentrate on who was pushing who around instead of focusing on how to get back in the game.
Wiser again broke free from the Lady Tiger defense and scored her second goal of the night after making a great individual move by juking a defender and playing the ball to herself for a picturesque goal that sent the home crowd into a roar. When Lady Tiger Heather Reel was red-carded for rough play at the 26:00 minute mark of the second it was evident that the frustration level had reached its peak and the Lady Tigers would not recover to even make it close. After that goal Coach Miller called off the dogs and sent in his reserves the remaining minutes of the game. MCHS was never in this game and were outmuscled and outplayed in every phase of the game the entire night. As MCHS gets a bus ticket home, the Lady Rockets punched their ticket to the semifinals Thursday night against Page High School at Middle Tennessee Christian School at 7:00 pm.