Tigerettes' season ends in first-round loss
The Tigerettes of Marshall County returned home to face a familiar foe in the first round of the District 12 A-AA playoffs facing a Spring Hill squad the Tigerettes lost a match against just three days earlier.
Despite a spirited start and an aggressive finish, the Tigerettes (12-4, 4-3) gave up three easy goals in a 10 minute span in the first half on the way to a 5-1 loss to the Lady Raiders (7-5, 4-3) to close the season for the home team.
"We buried ourselves in the first half, we gave them three of the four goals, they were gifts. But that's one thing about the character of our team, there is absolutely no quit and that's a culture thing with this team," MCHS coach Mark Redferrin said. "No matter how bad we are losing we don't quit playing, we don't quit. Kaylee Apostolico, six seconds left on the clock, she's still working her tail off. Still trying to help her team."
And fight the Tigerettes did. Despite the untimely defensive break down, allowing the three easy goals to give the Lady Raiders a 4-0-halftime edge.
Marshall County dominated the field in the second half, cutting the deficit to 4-1 on a goal from senior Abbey Redferrin.
"I thought we played really good, we are very dedicated, even when we knew we're losing we keep fighting," a dejected Apostolico said afterwards. "It's not about the loss, it's about what we learn."
The Lady Raiders would tack on one more goal for the 5-1 final, finishing a season to remember for the Tigerettes and the Lewisburg soccer community.
"In my four years of coaching this is the most successful season we've had," coach Redferrin said. "We fell a little bit short of our season goals----we wanted to win our first district game. But there's an old saying, 'it's not the destination, it's the journey.' These girls were phenomenal on the journey. They are just great people. I'm really proud of them."
The 2015 version of the Tigerettes was vastly improved from the team that took the field in 2014, building on a 5-10-1 '14 record with 12 wins, including a school record 10 wins to start the season. Despite losing four extremely valuable seniors from the '15 squad, the Tigerettes will welcome back almost the entire roster for next year.
"I'm proud of everything my team did, everybody played their hearts out. We all really wanted to win for the seniors," sophomore Grace Smith said. "We are looking forward to going undefeated next year and beating all the teams we didn't beat this year."
The '15 seniors have left the program in better shape than when they found it and that's something that should make any coach, at any level, proud of the job they are doing.
"My first year of coaching we were 3-10," an emotional coach Redferrin reflected. "I had two girls on the team that started out as freshman and finished here as seniors tonight. They have definitely left the program in better shape than they started with, especially the leadership on and off the field. I tell the girls all the time, you're not going to remember what your record was 10 years from now but your going to remember the bonds you build and the character lessons you learn. They were great girls. I'm really gonna miss them."