Tigers narrowly fall to 'toughest team'
Despite turning a spirited performance, the Marshall County Tigers suffered their third straight loss on the pitch when they dropped a hard fought 1-0 decision to 2013 State Tournament participant and District 12-A-AA newcomer Christ Presbyterian Academy at home on Tuesday afternoon.
Marshall County (2-3, 1-1 District) stood toe-to-toe with the Lions for much of the contest and battled CPA to a scoreless draw midway through the second half.
The Lions (4-0-1, 1-0 District) finally found a breach in the Tigers' defense in the 64th minute and grabbed a 1-0 lead on a goal by Price Purdue before holding MCHS scoreless the rest of the way.
Although he doesn't want to settle for moral victories, Marshall County coach Mark Redferrin was encouraged by his team's effort and believed they made strides during the contest.
"This is the first full 80 minute game that I've seen us play. The guys executed the game plan almost perfectly," said Redferrin. "We made one little mistake in the second half that cost us, but great teams capitalize when you make a mistake. Playing well against the toughest team on our schedule is only going to help us and we should be able to build off that. We know that we can compete against anyone now."
With Marshall County opting to pack in their defense against CPA, the Tigers had trouble generating scoring opportunities, as the Lions outshot MCHS 12-5 overall.
Leon Renato and Jose Pineda both took two shots to lead Marshall County, while Luis Zarate attempted one shot. Damien Richard made his first start at goaltender for the Tigers and had a strong debut in net, as he finished with 11 saves.
"Damien was just outstanding. He hasn't trained much with the goaltenders this year because he had been playing in the field, but he's just a tenacious and aggressive player."
Harrison Myers paced CPA with four shots and Purdue fired three shots on net. Grady Sutton also attempted two shots for the Lions, while Josh Pedicini, Allan Huerman, and William Trapnell each took one shot. CPA goaltender Jacob Armstrong recorded five saves en route to notching his fourth shutout of the season.
The Lions created the best scoring chance of the first half when Myers lined a 15-yard shot off the top post midway through the stanza.
Marshall County then thwarted a couple of corner kick plays by CPA late in the first half before Richard made a leaping save on another line drive shot by Myers early in the second stanza.
The Tigers had an opportunity to get on the board in the 52nd minute when Aaron Gillum briefly got behind the Lion defense while making a run down the middle of the field. A pair of CPA defenders caught back up with Gillum, however, and forced him to fire a shot wide left of the net.
The Lions' Chip Omer lofted a close range shot over the MCHS net in the 58th minute, but CPA finally got on the board in the 64th minute with the help of a Tiger defensive breakdown. After a Marshall County defender misplayed a pass in front of his net, Purdue gained control of the ball and blasted a shot into the upper left hand corner of the goal from point blank range to give the Lions a 1-0 lead.
Armstrong then made a pair of saves in the final 11 minutes of the game to help CPA wrap up their shutout victory.