Tigerettes still searching for first win
The Marshall County Tigerettes started its Thursday night home match with a roar, but ended with a whimper by giving up four unanswered goals to the Lady Raiders of Richland on the way to a 4-1 loss.
The Tigerettes (0-3-1) remain winless in 2016 after starting off the 2015 season with an 11-0 record.
"We lost a lot of good players last year and we're just kind of rearranging to see where everybody fits," MCHS junior Grace Smith, who scored the lone Tigerette goal of the night, said. "It's different for every game because you have to adjust your formation."
Marshall County opened up the game with its confidence on high after narrowly losing to Region 12AA powerhouse Spring Hill and playing 3A Columbia to a draw (0-0) but could not put away the Raiders despite leading for the majority of the opening period.
The Tigerettes got on the board first as Smith scored on an assist from Lesley Hudson 10 minutes into the contest.
"I just played the ball and all I could think was 'get past them', so I dribbled, took a touch and took a shot to the corner," Smith said.
Marshall County dominated time of possession for most of the first half, but Richland finally broke through the Tigerettes' defensive wall twice in 10 minutes to take a 2-1 lead into halftime.
"I told the girls at halftime that this was the best half of soccer we have played," MCHS coach Mark Redferrin said. "We're down 2-1, but it's the best half of soccer we have played this year. We're passing the ball, we're connecting better. We're doing the things that we want to do better, we just have to eliminate the mistakes."
The Tigerettes remained within striking distance in the final period thanks to the spectacular back line play by Summer Garrett and Sarah Johnson and numerous saves from goalkeeper Haley Porter, but the Raiders broke through and scored the decisive goal with 20 minutes remaining in the contest to take a 3-1 lead.
Aubrey Briggs scored another Lady Raiders' goal on a put back with less than 10 minutes left in the second period and with that goal, any Tigerette comeback thoughts were put to rest and the blue and white left the field still searching for the elusive first win of the season.
Mistakes cause loss
"Our mistakes lost us the game tonight plain and simple," Redferrin said. "We have a very narrow margin for error this year and our mistakes lead to their goals. That's happened to us in two of the games this season and we cannot afford those mistakes."
The Tigerettes have now given up four goals in a game twice this season in four games, a feat the 2015 Marshall County team did a mere three times the entire season and have struggled mightily on offense by scoring just two goals in four games.
"We need to connect more with the offense," Smith stated. "There's kind of a gap between the mid-field and the strikers and we need to learn how to close that gap and connect and make passes."