DRAFFENVILLE – The good news is that Marshall County didn’t lose a single time in three matches in the Lady Marshal Classic soccer invitational Friday and Saturday.
The bad news is they didn’t win, either. The Lady Marshals settled for ties against Madisonville-North Hopkins, Anderson County and Daviess County.
The event, which also included Caldwell County, featured four ties in six games. Anderson and Daviess both failed to score in Friday’s second game.
Madisonville had the best performance of the Classic. After rallying to forge a 4-4 tie against the Lady Marshals in the opening game on Friday, the Maroons took two wins on Saturday, by 1-0 over Anderson and 2-0 over Caldwell County in a match that was cut short because of the heat index.
“As a team we were disappointed with the ties against Madisonville and Anderson because we held multiple-goal leads into the second half and did not finish the game as we should, which resulted in them tying the game on us,” coach Michael Boone said.
MC held a 3-1 lead at halftime of Friday evening’s match against Madisonville, built on goals by Hannah Travis, Claire Waggoner and Tory Fehrenbacher.
A second goal by Fehrenbacher pushed the lead to 3-1 early in the second half. But the Maroons stormed back with three scores in the final 17 minutes to avert their first loss of the season.
On Saturday morning, the Marshals again jumped out to a lead against Anderson County, going up 2-0 on a pair of goals by Mariah McKenty.
But the Lady Bearcats cut the lead to 2-1 on a shot that somehow eluded Lady Marshal goalkeeper Savana Smothers’ grasp and rolled weakly into the goal.
The visitors from Lawrenceburg then got the tying score midway in the second period.
Even though the Lady Marshals once again saw their opponent come from behind to knot the score, the Daviess County match had a different feel to it. The contest was an evenly matched battle with both teams making one of 13 shots on goal.
The Lady Marshals tallied first on a goal by Fehrenbacher after the midway point of the first half and Daviess answered with a goal in the second period.
But Boone was much more pleased with his team’s overall effort in the final game of the event.
“Although the result was the same, we were committed to defend the entire game,” Boone said. “DC’s only goal came off a penalty kick midway through the second half.”
Boone, though disappointed with a 2-3-4 start to the season, put things in perspective, noting that all three Classic opponents have been ranked in the first two weeks of the Kentucky High School Girls Soccer Association poll. Daviess County is rated 20th in spite of a slow start, the Lady Panthers’ record 3-3-3 after the weekend’s action.
“While we would have loved to have kept the leads throughout the weekend, in the end, tying three top-30 teams in a matter of about 30 hours is a step in the right direction,” he said.
The tie is the only blemish on Madisonville’s 8-0-1 record, which includes a 5-3 victory over Marshall County Aug. 20 in the Daviess County Classic.
The Lady Marshals came into their invitational on the heels of a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Graves County on Aug. 30 at Mayfield. The loss was the first to the Lady Eagles since 2007.
The Lady Marshals were on the attack in the early minutes, but Graves goalkeeper Emily Waggoner denied four shots on goal, two set up by balls sent across the middle by the Lady Marshals’ McKenty.
“Any attempt we made to play a through ball up the middle, she was aggressive at coming out and getting to the ball before we could,” Boone said.
Graves scored off a cross from the right side to the far side of the goal post, where two attackers were waiting. Haley Taylor got the goal.
“We had a number of opportunities, especially late in the game.,” Boone said. “Our best chance in the second half was off a free kick from Keri Gilchrist that Mariah McKenty headed just over the goal.”
The Lady Marshals are at home to face Hopkinsville today at 7:15 p.m., then travel to Calloway County for a district contest on Thursday.