Tigers beat Jacksonville

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Photo by Sara Rogers

Hannah Brantley dribbling down the field.

Story by Caroline Purtle, co-entertinament editor

The girls’ soccer team won their game at home against Jacksonville on Jan. 31, making it the tenth win for the Tigers’ this season.

“Going out there felt okay knowing that we beat them last year,” senior Caroline Byrd said.

The Tigers’ success started early, as they pushed through the Maidens’ defense with junior Hannah Brantley making the first goal.

“It was a stress relief to get the first goal in,” Brantley said. “My strategy was to just play relaxed and let the game come to me.”

Slow moving, the penalties flooded through the gates. The refs were having a field-day.

“We needed to connect more passes and finish more balls,” Brantley said. “Other than that, just not letting the referees get to us.”

Freshman Rachel Shumaker came in to save after a blocked shot with an assist, completing the goal. The score sat 2-0 midway through the first half.

“The scoring felt really good,” Shumaker said. “I know they lost a lot of seniors last year, but I know with more practice we can only improve.”

Holding, tackling and injuries created a little unfriendly competition. Both teams got carried away with an assertive style of play.

“Jacksonville was really feisty,” junior Faith Rhone said. “They weren’t that fast, but they knew how to be aggressive.”

An overshot penalty kick by the Maidens finalized the first half with no points for Jacksonville, maintaining a 2-0 lead for the Tigers.

“We did a good job scoring on them fast and getting ahead the first half,” Byrd said.

The second half began with the Lady Tigers early on the field, while the Maidens lagged behind. A new confidence captured the team.

“I think we felt better because we talked a bit more and got a little more focused,” Shumaker said.

Well into the game, Jacksonville made their first goal. But the Tigers rebounded when Shumaker assisted once more off a pass from Brantley.

“The goals came slow,” Rhone said. “Rachel got a lot of points on the board, and the other girls could barely get past our defense.”

With two more goals cementing the Tigers’ victory, the girls carried the win home with a triumph of 6-1.

“That feeling when you score and win is relief, knowing that all that hard work has paid off,” Brantley said, “This season is only going to get better.”