Tigerettes suffer 1st loss of season
Marshall County traveled to neighboring Giles County Tuesday with a chance to lock up the top seed in the district with just four games left in the regular season.
The Bobcats (7-2-1, 5-1) proved to be too much to handle for the Tigerettes, (11-1, 4-1) scoring four goals in the first 20 minutes en route to a 5-0 win.
"We were just overmatched," Coach Mark Redferrin said. "They're a great soccer team. Sometimes you just run up against a buzz saw. We didn't have a good start to the game, but after that it was a pretty competitive match."
If the Bobcats were intimidated by the Tigerettes' unbeaten record it didn't show as the home team scored in one game nearly as many as the visitors had allowed (6) in their previous 11.
"I think we didn't woke up early enough," senior Abby Redferrin said. "We got a little shocked after the first three goals and we weren't ready. We've started off our games with us scoring first so it shocked us for them to come out and score three goals on us really quickly."
It was only the second time this season (MT Crusaders earlier) the Tigerettes trailed in a game. Unlike when the Tigerettes got down against the Crusaders and responded with six goals within 20 minutes, Marshall County couldn't get anything going against Giles County.
"I don't know if necessarily anything went wrong tonight. Our team did a good job," sophomore Ashley Orr said. "I think this is the most competitive team we've played so far, but I'm really happy with how we finished. I know the first 15 minutes, we didn't really get it going, but after that, we worked our butts off and I'm really proud of us for that."
After the initial onslaught, the Tigerettes settled down and the usually dominant defense made an appearance. Senior goalkeeper Alexis Ford made 5 saves.
"I think we did decent defensively given their offense ability," the younger Redferrin said. "We hadn't seen that kind of skill yet this year and we weren't prepared for it because we were used to not even having to play defense most of the time. So for them to even have a semi-decent offense really shocked our defense at first. But I think it made our defense better. They learned from it and they grew from it."
Despite losing and having its school-record winning streak to start a season end, there was much to be learned from the loss and the rest of the season to be played. "There are things that we've learned from this game," coach Redferrin said. We'll definitely get better as a result of this game and it'll prepare us for what's to come for the rest of our season. I never like losing. I never say it's good to lose, but when you do, there's things you can learn."
Two of the most important things to learn from a losing effort are to keep playing despite the score and to play with integrity, and Orr thought they did both.
"The heart my teammates have is incredible," she said. "I didn't see one of them give up. They all had a positive attitude and I'm glad we showed good sportsmanship."
The Tigerettes bounced back on Thursday night at home against The Webb School, shutting out Webb 4-0 in the last regular season home game of the year.