Tigers find soccer success late in season
The Marshall County and Forrest boys 2016 soccer seasons have in some ways been mirrors of each other as both teams struggled to find wins early in the season despite playing top competition to the last whistle.
Unlike the Rockets, the Tigers have found success as of late, winning its first contest with a convincing 5-0 win over Wayne County one game after a surprising one goal loss to then undefeated Fairview.
The Tigers lost a tough district match 2-0 against Cascade before breaking through once more with a 4-2 win over longtime county rival Forrest on senior night.
"It's always a little different against Forrest," MCHS coach Mark Redferrin said. "This is a big rivalry game. Add to that the fact that it was senior night and that's a good combination to get the guys excited."
After scoring only three goals during a six game stretch after an opening season loss to Shelbyville (4-2), the Tigers let loose scoring three goals in the first half on Monday night to take a commanding lead into the half with goals by Julian Jones, David Hernandez, and Seth Ferguson.
"Plain and simple, we put shots on goal," Redferrin added. "We gave ourselves a chance to score as opposed to other games where our shots went over or wide of the goal."
Forrest would finally find the net in the second half as Javier Rios scored twice to make a game out of the match but freshman Erick Granados would score a goal to push the lead to 4-2 and Camron Middaugh added three crucial saves to give the Tigers two wins in the past three games in which Marshall County scored nine goals after scoring just five goals the rest of the season combined.
'On a roll'
"We have won two of the last three games, so it's always good to get on a roll at the end of the season," Redferrin noted. " The guys have not given up and know that we have played good soccer this season."
"We just have to score more goals," Redferrin continued. "We did that tonight. We are confident that we will be able to have some success in the post-season if we can continue to play the way we did tonight."
Despite just two games in the win column, the Tigers have played excruciatingly close to tier programs like Fairview (2-1), Shelbyville (4-2), CPA (3-0) and Giles County (4-0) and led late in the first half against district power Page.
The Rockets, after winning the opening match of the season with a 7-0 decision over Richland have struggled to find win number two with a blowout loss to Fayetteville after battling Spring Hill and Middle Tennessee Christian closely before losing a heart breaker to Cascade 3-2.
With non-district games remaining at Community and Middle Tennessee Crusaders at Cook Park in Columbia at 5 p.m. on Friday, the Tigers have precious little time to find the right combination of players to give Marshall County the best chance entering the district tournament starting May 5.
"I think this was a big win for us," Redferrin stated. "Forrest is a lot like us this year-a good ball team but just productive enough offensively. They played a tough match against us, but our guys rose to the occasion and pulled out the win. I'm really proud of them and excited about the way we played tonight."