Lady Jackets drop 4th straight
The Middlesboro girls soccer team has hit a rough patch lately. After starting the season 2-1, the Lady Jackets have played high quality opponents in their past four games. After a slim defeat to district rival Harlan County, Middlesboro lost to Whitley County and Oneida Baptist Institute.
The Lady Jackets continued that rough stretch on Tuesday when they welcomed Corbin to town. A few mistakes led to the Lady Redhounds walking away with a 5-nil victory.
The loss drops Middlesboro’s record to 2-5 on the year.
Despite the seemingly lopsided defeat, the Lady Jacket defense was competitive throughout the game.
“Our defense is competitive. We’re getting better and better every game,” said Middlesboro coach Quinton Mason. “We just got so many new kids in there. They’re just learning when to rotate and when not to rotate, and we got to communicate better. We just do. But, we are getting better defensively.
“We’re getting better at the midfield. By the end of the season, these girls are going to be a tough out. I’ll just be honest with you. I made them a tough schedule this year. They don’t see it but come district time it’ll help us. We’ve seen it all, and we’ll compete in the district tournament this year.”
It was hard for the Middlesboro offense to get anything going due to Corbin’s 4-4-2 Diamond formation.
“They were just beating Baylee (Woody) to death, and she just couldn’t get that breakthrough,” said Mason. “She always gets a couple breakthroughs. (This time) when she beat one (defender) there was another one. They played us really tight. We tried to play wide it’s just…Corbin was everywhere. We probably only took four good shots that were actually on goal.
“Offensively, we just have to learn to put the ball on the ground and learn to control the ball better. That’s just the bottom line, and we’ll get there.”
Fouls were also costly for the Lady Jackets. The team had seven fouls because they picked up their foot on throw-ins.
“That’s uncalled for in high school soccer,” said Mason.
The second-year head coach said the team will also need to work on communicating more defensively. The focus on offense is playing wider.
“We’ve got to learn to communicate in our defense and rotate better, but if nobody is communicating to rotate then you don’t know to rotate,” said Mason. “On offense, we’ve got to put the ball wider and on the ground. We just kept kicking it over their heads straight to the keeper, and that doesn’t do anybody any good.”
Jenna Johnson paced Corbin scoring two goals. Lexi Richardson, Clara Sinneseth and Sarah Fryer also scored for the Lady Redhounds.
Middlesboro (2-5) will hit the road on Thursday to play Cumberland Gap, Tennessee. Following that game, the Lady Jackets will host Knox Central at 6 p.m. on Monday.
Corbin (1-5) will travel to Whitley County (4-0) on Saturday.