Tigerettes fall to 0-2 in loss to Tullahoma
For 30 minutes on Thursday night, the Marshall County Tigerettes (0-1, 0-1) were the team to beat in a season opening district matchup versus new district opponent Tullahoma (1-1, 1-1).
But with just under eight remaining in the opening half, the floodgates opened up when Wildcat junior Julia Duncan scored three straight goals in the span of 40 seconds for a 3-1 advantage and the flurry of scores proved to be too much on the young Tigerettes and Tullahoma coasted the rest of the way through the contest for an 8-1 win.
"We started off really well, we had really good intensity, we've been working hard on that in practice," Tigerette coach Mark Redferrin, who has coached the blue and white to 20 wins and two ties the previous two seasons, stated. "So we came out with really good intensity, but I think fatigue set in once they leveled the game."
"I think we may have gotten down on ourselves a little bit and boom, boom, boom, gave up some really quick goals," Redferrin added. "And then when you dig a hole that deep it's kind of hard to see out of it.” “But we continued fighting throughout the entire game and I'm proud of our effort for that."
The home team got on the scoreboard first as an Ashley Orr shot ricocheted off the Tullahoma goaltenders hands right at junior Patience Ferguson, who used a knee to push the ball into the net.
"Ashley was doing a foul kick and their goalie dropped the ball and I just kneed it in," Ferguson, who led the Tigerettes in scoring in 2016, recalled. "It was a great kick from Ashley and it was just in the right position to put (the ball) right in."
From that point on, the Wildcats kept senior goalkeeper Haley Porter busy with seven shots on goal from the 19 minutes mark until just under the 16 minute mark, but Porter held strong and the Tigerettes clung to a 1-0 lead until just before the end of the first half.
The Wildcats finally broke through when Duncan tied the game on a put-back, but seemingly in shock from the score, the defense proceeded to fall apart and give up three more goals by Duncan in a span of 39 seconds for a 3-1 lead.
"I think we were really confident and then we got those goals scored on us and it just went downhill after that," Ferguson explained. "We stayed intense, we kept fighting, and we were doing what we were supposed to do except not focusing too well. I think that first goal scored on us made us just lose it."
Duncan was far from finished, adding an incredible fourth goal in a single half with just 19 seconds remaining and the Wildcats took a commanding 4-1 lead into the break despite trailing for 32 minutes.
"The aggression we had in the first half is something positive to take with us into our next game," Porter, who had 11 saves in the contest, said. "We had the heart for most of the first half. When we stepped on the field, we had Tiger pride. We were supposed to come out and beat some tail and go on with our lives winning.”
“Our mentality was where it was supposed to be, but after that first goal it just hit the ground. I don't understand what happened really."
The second half offered much of the same as the last eight minutes of the first half.
Duncan resumed her once in a lifetime game with a fifth goal just two minutes and 41 seconds into the period and the lead jumped to 5-1.
The Wildcats spread around the wealth after the opening goal as Lauren Lester added a score just over a minute later and Anna Parker slipped one past Porter at the 29:52 mark for the 7-1 Wildcat advantage.
Cassidy Connor notched the final score for either team as the Wildcat junior hit pay dirt at 21:12 for the final of 8-1.
"I think it was a team effort to let all of those goals in," Porter stated. "It wasn't just one particular person's fault but it was my fault on top of everyone else's. But it doesn't bother me for too long because I know we have plenty of games ahead of us."
The Tigerettes jump out of district with an inter-county matchup against Forrest (0-1) on Tuesday before playing longtime district powerhouse Page (1-1) on Thursday night.