Tigerettes’ season ends at Page
Heading into the District 11-AA Soccer Tournament with no wins within the conference, the MCHS Tigerettes had the unenviable task of taking on first place Page on Thursday night, just over a month after the Patriots beat Marshall County 9-0 on an early mercy-rule contest.
But one of Marshall County coach Mark Redferrin's stronger points is being able to implement a strong playoff plan as evidenced by a near upset against Spring Hill (1-0) in 2016.
The Tigerettes came out strong on Thursday night, cutting the lead into 4-2, 10 minutes into the second half, but the rally stopped there and the Patriots (9-5) tacked on two more late goals to win 6-2 and end the Tigerettes’ (7-8-2) season.
"The game plan tonight was to pack it in on defense and try and win possessions," Redferrin explained. "We switched a few players from their normal positions to add to the defense and that did work for a while, but Page is a really good team and eventually was able to find some holes."
Much like the majority of the Tigerettes losses this season, the defense put up a strong showing for the first 20 minutes of the opening half, but when the Patriots broke through the Williamson County squad made the most of it---scoring four goals in 15 minutes to take a 4-0 into the break.
"At halftime I told them that we tried the new defense and was fairly successful at it," Redferrin said. "But in order to get back into the game we need to score some goals. So I switched them back to their normal positions and let them loose."
The lineup shuffle paid immediate dividends as junior Patience Ferguson set the ball from about 30 yards out and drilled it into the net to trim the deficit to 4-1.
The Tigerettes furthered the comeback attempt when a Macy Smith penalty shot from 35-yards out sailed over the head of the Page goalkeeper to cut the lead to 4-2 and wake up the Marshall County crowd.
"Sometimes when you kick the ball it just feels great," Smith said. "I knew from the moment it left my foot that it was good."
The scores were the first points the Tigerettes have scored against the Patriots during Redferrin's six-year tenure in Lewisburg.
The last time the Tigerettes put one in the net against the Patriots was during a 5-1 loss during the 2010 regular season.
The Tigerettes had been outscored 51-1 against the Patriots over the past decade before Thursday night.
The ballgame remained close for much of the rest of the second half before Page scored two goals to finally put the game away and advance to the second round.
"Even though our senior season didn't turn out the way we wanted it to on the field, we still have great memories to take away," senior defender Jacque Licea said. "The bus rides to and from games and getting to play with my best friend Macie Pickle have been some memorable moments for me this year."
The Tigerettes lose five key players to graduation in 2017, but return plenty of skill players to compete for a title once again in 2018.