MURRAY — On a drizzly wet field, the Marshall County Lady Marshals won the 1st Region, 2nd District championship Thursday night by beating the hometown Murray Lady Tigers 9-1.
As has been a recurring theme over the season for the Lady Tigers (8-6), they started slowly and dug themselves a hole, falling behind early 2-0 in the 11th minute. The momentum seemed to shift back to the home team, however, in the next minute when Tiger senior mid-fielder Angela Gierhart netted a laser into the far-post, upper-90, from about 30-yards out on the bleacher-side of the field. Murray’s energy level was picking up, but it wouldn’t be enough to stop the Marshall County offense on the night.
“I honestly felt like we played better after we got one and were in a good place,” said Tiger head coach Shauna Traylor. “We’re attacking now and have some momentum.”
Then the little mistakes started adding up as the Marshals scored again five minutes later to extend the lead in the 17th minute to 3-1 and never looked back. Their fourth goal in the 37th before halftime would extend the lead to what seemed to be enough due to Marshall’s stifling defense all night long.
A header at the 46th minute and a penalty kick in the 57th minute helped the visitors pull away and eventually gave them the district crown.
The season isn’t over for Murray however, as they are assured a spot in the regional tournament next week, due to making the district finals, which might have possibly played into the Lady Tigers’ efforts on the night.
“Obviously they knew it wasn’t the last game of their season,” said Traylor. “We talked about whether they want to play St. Mary or McCracken County (before the game).” With a victory, the Lady Tigers would have faced St. Mary in the first round of regionals, at team they beat 8-0 almost month ago.
With the loss, they will now have to square off against top-seeded McCracken County in the first round, who beat the Lady Tigers 4-0 nine days before that. The Lady Tigers would have had an easier road to the regional championship if they had avenged the loss to the Marshals in the season opener.
The 2nd District All-Tournament Team was announced at the conclusion of the contest, with Gierhart and senior forward Abby Elmore being the Lady Tigers to make the team. Calloway County senior forward Elle Carson and sophomore forward Addi Schumacher with the honor for the Lady Lakers.