Tiger comeback not enough in loss to Lincoln County
The Marshall County boys soccer team won just a total of four games during the 2016 season and needed until April 21 to win its first game.
Coming into Thursday's contest against Lincoln County, the Tigers had a chance to win its fourth contest just seven games into the 2017 campaign after losing the championship of the Red Hawk Classic 3-1 to Hunters Lane (5-1) last weekend and a close 3-2 district loss to Giles County (3-6, 3-0) two days prior.
The third time was not a charm as the Falcons jumped out to a 4-1 halftime lead, before the Tigers came roaring back to tie the contest at 5-5, but two late goals resulted in a 7-5 loss.
"That's three games in a row that we've done this," MCHS coach Mike Hollingsworth said. "Given up two or three goals in the first half and then we come out in the second half and stop them and we score."
"So I don't know, I guess they like being down," Hollingsworth continued. "I just don't understand it. They're gonna have to get it into their heads to want to come out stronger. But that's it right now. We're falling behind at the half. And then we try and dig back. Just mentally right now is where we are struggling."
The Tigers did provide bright spots on the field as twins Christian and Maurizio Munoz combined for three second half goals and two more shots that ricocheted off the goal.
"After we score we should just stay focused and mentally prepared and just work on defense," Maurizio said. "I guess (the defense) gets too excited or overconfident or something, so (the opponent) just slips right through and scores."
The Falcons (7-3) scored the first goal within 10 minutes of the opening whistle, but the Tigers quickly answered with an Erick Granados score to tie the game at 1-1.
Lincoln County answered with three goals during the last 25 minutes of the half and the Tigers (3-4) went into break with a bleak outlook, down 4-1 with just 40 minutes remaining.
"The biggest thing I did during halftime was make some position changes," Hollingsworth said. "We did a different formation in the second half and that helped. We went back to what we were doing last week where we won two or three games to start the season."
The changes made gave the Tigers a jump start as Julian Jones scored on an assist from Deon Ford just under two minutes into the half to creep back to within 4-2.
The Tigers were officially back into the game at the 34:45 mark as Maurizio Munoz scored his first goal of the game after shaking the goalie and going uncontested to the goal for the score and bringing the blue and white to within one goal of the tie.
"I saw the ball perfect," Munoz stated. "I just knew as soon as the goalie came out just to do a little move to get him away and fake him the other way so I could just make that one little move to get the score."
Not to be outdone, the Falcons answered with a goal less than three minutes later to push the lead to 5-3 with 32 minutes remaining.
As the second half shootout continued, Christian Munoz kept the Tigers in the game when under three minutes following the Falcons’ score, Munoz scored on a brilliant free kick from just inside the midfield line to make it 5-4.
The comeback was complete at the 8:52 mark when Maurizio scored after the Falcon goalkeeper blocked a Granados shot straight to Munoz.
"I was really just trying to get the ball to the goalie so they could crash and try and get a goal from it," Munoz said. "I got it high enough and I was just lucky it went in."
The celebration would be short-lived as the Falcons scored the go-ahead goal just 43 seconds later and finally put the game away at the 2:28 mark to leave Lewisburg with a 7-5 win.
The Tigers broke the three-game losing streak with a 6-2 win against Lawrence County on Monday and Community paid a visit to Marshall County on Tuesday night.