Tigers upend Spring Hill in 12-AA Tournament opener
The Marshall County Tigers (8-6-1) turned in an inspired performance on the pitch this past Friday when they went on the road and defeated the Spring Hill Raiders 2-1 in the first round of the District 12-A-AA tournament.
Having whipped MCHS 7-2 in their lone regular season encounter on April 22, Spring Hill appeared they might be headed towards another easy win after jumping out to a 1-0 lead in the opening seconds of Friday's contest.
The Tigers, however, bowed their necks this time around and controlled play from that point on, as they tied the game at 1-1 late in the first half on a goal by Luis Zarate before Marvin Jaimes scored the game winning goal midway through the second half to help Marshall County take home the hard fought victory.
"I think it was our best team performance of the season from goalkeeping to defense to midfield. Even the reserves came in and played well. It was a total team win," said MCHS coach Mark Redferrin. "We fell behind early in both games, but this time we kept our focus and continued to follow the game plan."
Thanks to Friday's triumph, the Tigers advanced to the semifinals of the tournament where they will play top seeded Page on Tuesday night at Christ Presbyterian Academy.
Marshall County pressured Spring Hill's net for much of the game and outshot the Raiders 19-6 overall. Luis Consuelo attempted a team high seven shots for the Tigers to go along with an assist. Jose Pineda followed Consuelo with five shots, while David Hernandez and Jaimes attempted three and two shots respectively with Hernandez notching an assist. Zarate and Chris Martinez took one shot apiece for MCHS as well.
"We made a change from our last match and went with a very offensive heavy system for this game," said Referrin. "The main difference in this game was that we controlled the midfield this time."
In net, Marshall County goaltender Damien Richard bounced back from a shaky start and recorded five saves in the contest.
A.J. Smith scored Spring Hill's lone goal of the game, while Raider goalie Tyler Delgado finished with 16 saves.
Spring Hill literally wasted no time getting on the board, as Smith blasted a long range shot over Richard's head from beyond midfield only five seconds into the match to give the Raiders a 1-0 lead.
After Richard made a diving save late in the first half to keep the deficit at one, the Tigers tied the game in the 37th minute when Zararte took a pass from Consuelo on the left side of the field and rifled a shot just inside the near post from 20 yards out.
In the second half, Marshall County began to pick up their offensive pressure and took a 2-1 lead in the 66th minute when Hernandez and Jaimes teamed up for a goal. Hernandez headed a Tiger throw in towards the front of the Spring Hill net before Jaimes ran in and headed a shot into the left hand corner of the goal.
That proved to be all the offense that the Tigers would need, as they prevented Spring Hill from creating a quality scoring chance over the final 14 minutes of the contest to hold on for the win.