Tigers shutout Fayetteville on Senior Night
In their final tune up leading up to a first-round District 11-AA Tournament matchup with top-seeded Murfreesboro Central Magnet School on Thursday, the Marshall County Tigers took to the home pitch on Tuesday for a Senior Night game with Fayetteville and it was all Lewisburg in a three-nil blanking.
“We have been a little bit inconsistent all year with our intensity and our work ethic and they came out with a lot of determination tonight because they wanted to see our seniors get this win on Senior Night,” MCHS coach Mark Redferrin said. “We played really, really good soccer in the first half and even though we had a little bit of a letdown in the second half, we played good tonight.”
Senior striker Erick Granados struck in lightning quick fashion, scoring the fastest goal in MCHS soccer history when he hit the back of the net just 17 seconds into the contest.
“We always talk about the first 10 minutes of the game and the last 10 minutes of the game, we want to set the tone early,” Redferrin said. “When you score early it shocks the other team and it stuns them and that’s what we did, so it was a dream start for us actually.”
Marshall County kept their namesakes off balance the first seven minutes of the game as they controlled the action in the offensive zone, peppering Fayetteville goalkeeper Isaac Pace, who had to make several good saves to keep the Tigers’ lead at one goal.
Fayetteville finally got a few chances to have control of the ball, but the MCHS defense stymied any scoring opportunities inside the box.
At the 22:33 mark of the first half, Granados struck again on a missile that went into the top corner of the Fayetteville net for a 2-0 lead.
Marshall County stayed on the gas and was awarded a throw-in with 18:48 remaining in the first half and Redferrin called a set play that worked to perfection when Leslie Bishop came out of nowhere to knock in a rebound and make it a 3-0 contest.
“We have a few set plays, we haven’t called that play all year, but it was nice to see where we can throw that ball right in the box,” Redferrin said. “We didn’t get the best shot off, but our guy (Bishop) was there back post to put in the net, so it was a really, really good goal.”
Fayetteville had two shots on goal and a corner kick in the first half, but could not convert.
The Tigers also had a couple more looks at goal, but Pace made the saves and Marshall County took the 3-0 lead to the second half.
Omar Lucero and Seth Ferguson had two early shots on goal for the hometown Tigers at the outset of the second half before Fayetteville tried to go over top of the Marshall County defense to find Leo Aguilar, but the center backs held firm for Lewisburg with several nice clearing shots.
“It’s a different mentality when you go into the second half and you have a big lead, because you know the other team is going to come out and do things differently to try to score some goals,” Redferrin said. “It was obvious they were just trying to play some long balls to get behind our defense, but we have two really, really smart center backs that don’t let that happen very easily.”
“Those balls got challenged, so I’m really proud of our guys for maintaining that shutout tonight and keeping that goose egg on that scoreboard, which is always nice to have.”
The two squads went back and forth for the remainder of the game with Marshall County getting two more shots on the goal and Fayetteville also had two more scoring attempts, but MCHS goalkeeper Hayden Ward was up to the task as he came up with a clean sheet in the 3-0 win.
“We have a huge opportunity in front of us Thursday night, we play the number one team in our district and we took a pretty good licking (8-0) from them in the regular season,” Redferrin said. “I’m excited about the opportunity and I hope the guys are too because I like a redemption story.”
“It happens, and I shared with the guys yesterday a couple of examples of that happening in soccer this past year, so I am hoping we can be another one of those stories where we can come in and shock our opponents and if we play the way we are capable of playing, we can beat that team.”
The Tigers lost 10-2 to Murfreesboro Central Magnet Thursday night.
Fayetteville 0 0-0
Marshall County 3 0-3
Goals: Erick Granados 2, Leslie Bishop.
Assists: Seth Ferguson, Jorge Campuzano
Saves: Hayden Ward 4