Lady Tigers soccer loses 11th game

Greene County’s Karrie Thompson wrestles with a Lady Spartan as she tries to keep the ball away from the Lady Tigers’ goal. 

PHOTO: Justin Hubbard

By Justin Hubbard

justin@lakeoconeenews.us

 

The 2018 season has been a long one for the Greene County girls soccer team.

As of Monday, the Lady Tigers were 2-11. They had six mercy-rule losses on their record, the most recent of which came last Friday against Athens Academy.

Greene fell to the Lady Spartans, 11-0, after the first half. Lady Tigers head coach Mike Smith said the team anticipated a difficult game against the talented Athens Academy squad.

“We knew it was going to be tough,” Smith said. “Athens Academy is ranked ninth in the state. They just went out and tried to learn something and go out and have fun, and it looks like they did. All the stuff that we've been working on, they were putting into play. It didn't go our way but we were trying to get primed for our next three games that are coming up.”

It took less than a minute for Athens Academy to get on the board. The Lady Spartans scored at 39:39 and then put up three more goals before the 30-minute mark.

The Lady Tigers stiffened up and held Athens Academy to only two goals for the next several minutes. However, the Lady Spartans caught fire again and, between the 17:11 mark and 7:06 mark, scored their final five goals.

Following the disappointing loss, Greene’s seniors were honored on the field for senior night.

The five veterans – Areli Castro, Alana Murphy, Brenda Villela, Esmerelda Tirado and Marlin Trejo – were recognized for their contributions to the program.

Smith said the seniors turned in a commendable performance during their last official home game.

“I'm very pleased with Esmeralda Tirado's performance. She always gives 110 percent,” Smith said. “Marlin and Areli and Alana and Brenda, they all came to play today and they put in a great effort.”

As for their overall careers, Smith said the seniors will be tough to replace.

That’s compounded by the fact the Lady Tigers will be a mostly young team in 2019.

“I'm going to hate to see [the seniors] go,” Smith said. “They're our powerhouse. They bring a lot to the table. They've been here three and four years. Once they leave, we have one junior that's coming up and the rest are freshmen and a couple of sophomores, so we have a very young team after they graduate.”

Smith said he hopes to get next year’s returning players more experience over the offseason.

“We're trying to raise money so that these girls can go to soccer camp, like all the other teams in the surrounding counties do, just to give them a little extra instruction,” Smith said. “We're going to push for some of them to play fall ball in rec leagues. Next year, we're not going to start the season trying to condition and do ball handling skills like it was this year. They're going to be in shape once we get started. I told them in the locker room that, had they been in the shape they are today at the beginning of the season, which was the original goal, we wouldn't have a 2-11 season. It'd be more like a 5-7 season. They would've won many more games.”

The Lady Tigers traveled to Athens Christian this past Tuesday. Next up, they play Lake Oconee Academy this Friday and Lincoln County next Tuesday to close out the season.

Smith said if his players can implement some things they have recently learned then they will have a shot at finishing the year on a high note.

“What we've been working on is communication between each other,” he said. “They need to communicate, pass more and just be more aggressive. ... We ought to pull off, hopefully, one [win], if not two.”

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