MURRAY — In the 39th minute, Angela Gierhart stepped up to the penalty spot with a chance to end the game, and she placed the ball in the right corner of the net.
It took just two minutes for the Lady Tigers to take the lead when Riley Campbell connected from long range, and only a half of play for them to enact the mercy rule over Mayfield 10-0 in the first round of the district tournament, so they stay alive and draw Marshall tonight.
The only challenge they faced in the contest against Mayfield, was adjusting to a smaller field of play, with Mayfield’s soccer field on the smaller end of the allowed size range.
Head coach Shauna Traylor said that the smaller field actually played to their favor by compacting the area of play.
“It’s very different,” Traylor said. “For us, I thought it would benefit us just by compacting a little bit more, and I think in the long run it will continue to benefit us.”
The Lady Tigers led 6-0 after 28 minutes of play and seemed to find a new gear and added motivation in the final five minutes as they rattled off four goals to end the game early.
“I told my coaches, ‘This is the most motivated I’ve seen them in a long time,’” Traylor said. “We didn’t say anything to them about finishing it by halftime, but they knew, like ‘Hey, we could go home,’ and it was cool to see them work together and knock a few in there in the last few minutes. I think they wanted it just for themselves.”
The goal of the night was scored by Lily Vanover, when she connected on a standing bicycle kick with her back to the goal. It started the run and game the Lady Tigers exactly what they needed to finish the game strong.
Goal scorers last night included Maddie Howell (2), Gierhart (2), Vanover (2), Campbell, Peyton Wray, Hollis Bourque, and Jayln Fuqua.
With the win, the Lady Tigers are back in action tonight at Mayfield once again and they will take on the top-seeded Lady Marshals.
“I know Marshall’s field is really big, so they probably hate playing here,” Traylor said.
The hope is that that change in venue can change the outcome from the last two meetings against the Lady Marshals. Murray High struggled with the top-seed this year in a pair of losses, 3-0 and 7-0. With the way the offense looked last night, the Lady Tigers have a legitimate chance to not only score for the first time against Marshall County tonight, but possibly complete the massive upset.