Editor's Note: Morgan County sports will be suspended until April 1, MCHS athletic director Doug Connelly announced after this story was submitted for publication.
Morgan County’s girls soccer team traveled to Jackson County last week to play its last game for a while.
Schools in Morgan County are closed this week. As a result, the schools’ athletic events are also suspended for the time being. The system will reevaluate this week and decide about any further closures and cancellations.
The Lady Dogs knew that when they traveled to face Region 8-AAA rival Jackson County last Friday. Unfortunately for them, the game ended in a 3-0 loss.
Friday’s match was competitive throughout, and there were numerous moments where the players were embroiled in physical battles for the ball. Lady Dogs head coach Anne Stamps said her players struggled in the environment during the first half but came out stronger in the second half.
“In the first half, I felt like we came out and we pressed a little bit and we forced some things and we weren't playing our game,” Stamps said. “Jackson's always a quality team, they're always good, and it's always a competitive game. It's always a very physical game. And I didn't think we handled that pressure very well in the first half. … During halftime, I think we had a pretty good talk and settled some nerves down a little bit. I was very pleased in the second half. I thought we played much better. We made much better connections. Even though we gave up two goals, we played a lot better.”
Morgan allowed one goal at the 33:13 mark of the first half. That score came via a header off a corner kick. After halftime, Jackson tacked on its final two goals, one of which came at 33:23 and the other at 4:45.
The defensive mistakes were limited for both teams. Morgan, however, slipped up a few times and Jackson capitalized.
“There were just a couple of breakdowns on defense that started at the top and trickled on down,” Stamps said. “It was just costly mistakes.”
The Morgan midfielders and defenders kept pace with Jackson for much of the game. The Lady Dogs’ offense, on the other hand, struggled to generate lengthy possessions and shots on goal.
Morgan broke through the defense during the second half. The team’s shots were just off the mark.
The scoreboard reflected a shutout loss for the Lady Dogs. But Stamps said the final score was not indicative of how strong the offense played at times.
“I felt like we had our opportunities, especially in the second half,” she said. “We had a few shots on the goal in the second half and they just didn't get through. We had a lot of work on our defensive end [Friday] and we had a lot of work on our midfield. Our midfielders did a good job and our defensive players did a good job. And our forwards did a good job, but they just didn't get it through.”
Friday’s loss dropped Morgan’s overall record to 4-3. It evened the Lady Dogs’ Region 8-AAA record to 1-1.
Morgan County’s decision to suspend sports meant that this week’s region matches against East Jackson and Monroe Area didn't happen. As of press time Tuesday, the Lady Dogs – and all of Morgan’s spring sports teams – were in wait-and-see mode regarding a possible extension of the sports suspension or even a full cancellation.
Follow Lake Country Sports on Facebook for the latest on our area’s sports schedules.