Tigerettes rally past Huntland
The Marshall County Tigerettes (3-10-2) had to overcome some early adversity, but lived to fight another day on the pitch after defeating the ninth seeded Huntland Lady Hornets 5-3 at home on Wednesday night in the District 11-A-AA tournament play-in game.
Having beaten Huntland 3-0 in their lone regular season encounter, the eighth seeded Tigerettes got off to a sluggish start in Wednesday's contest and trailed 2-0 midway through the first half.
Marshall County, however, eventually settled down and tallied two goals in a span of three minutes to tie the game at 2-2 at the break before outscoring the Lady Hornets 3-1 in the second half to claim their third victory of the year.
"I think we underestimated this team and gave up a couple of early goals, but we responded and played well after that point," said MCHS coach Mark Redferrin.
With Wednesday's triumph, the Tigerettes earned the right to play top seeded Page on Thursday night.
Bolstered by their second half offensive surge, Marshall County outshot Huntland 20-13 overall.
Junior striker Emily Spence scored two second half goals to lead MCHS' offensive attack, while Olivia Shultz, Sophie Raffo, and Clara Wilson each notched one goal with Raffo dishing out two assists. Abbey Redferrin registered an assist for the Tigerettes as well.
"Our midfielders really played much better tonight. They created a lot of scoring opportunities and our strikers did a good job of finishing shots," said Mark Redferrin.
Lorena Martinez tallied two goals to pace the Lady Hornets offensively, while Cierra Powell added one goal. Sarah LaFevers also recorded an assist for Huntland (0-10).
In net, Marshall County goaltender Atlanta Ferguson finished with eight saves, while Lady Hornet goalie Brittany Kircher had 11 saves.
The Lady Hornets knocked MCHS on their heels at the start of the contest and grabbed a 1-0 lead with a goal in the ninth minute. After Marshall County was called for a foul in the goalie box, Ferguson blocked a penalty kick by Martinez, but was unable to corral the loose ball. Powell then raced in and blasted a close range shot into the back of the net to put Huntland on top.
In the 16th minute, Martinez gave the Lady Hornets a 2-0 lead when she fired a close range shot into the right hand side of the goal after winning a loose ball in front of the net on a corner kick play.
Marshall County began to pick up their offensive pressure after that point and cut the deficit to 2-1 with a goal in the 22nd minute. Kircher blocked a long range direct kick by Raffo, but Shultz ran down the loose ball and lofted a close range shot into the upper left hand corner of the net.
Raffo then knotted the game at 2-2 in the 25th minute by winning a loose ball on the right side of the field and rifling a shot into the left corner of the goal from 25 yards out.
The game remain tied until early in the second half when Spence got behind the Huntland defense and lined a 10-yard shot into the right side of the net in the 44th minute.
Spence then struck again in the 46th minute to stake the Tigerettes to a 4-2 advantage. After running down a pass from Raffo on the right side of the field, Spence dribbled around Kircher, who came out to challenge the ball, before ripping an uncontested shot into the back of the empty net.
Huntland narrowed the gap to 4-3 in the 69th minute when Martinez received a pass from LaFevers in front of the goal and chipped a shot over Ferguson's head.
Wilson, though, clinched Marshall County's 5-3 victory by lacing a 12-yard shot just inside the right post in the 77th minute after outrunning the Huntland defense to a pass from Redferrin in the middle of the field.