PREP GIRLS SOCCER: Marshall gets tripped up by New Ulm, 4-0
MARSHALL — The Marshall girls soccer team looked to keep its recent momentum going on Thursday night when it closed out their regular season home schedule against the New Ulm Eagles. The Tigers stayed toe-to-toe with the Eagles for the majority of the opening half, but a pair of late goals in the first frame followed up by two more scores in the second half helped push New Ulm to a 4-0 shutout victory.
Despite the final outcome, Marshall coach Jesus Hernandez credited his team for competing hard throughout the evening and feels like they’re continuing to show improvement with each game, especially against tough opponents such as New Ulm.
“Unfortunately, we weren’t expecting this kind of score; we know that New Ulm is a tough team and we talked about it and prepared the girls mentally to play their hardest out there and they did,” Hernandez said. “They played really hard, but New Ulm is playing at a higher level than us but we’re working hard to get to that level.”
The Eagles looked ready to attack right from the start, as New Ulm quickly gained possession and kept control of the ball on its offensive side of the field for the first few minutes. Even though the Eagles had chances early to score, they would be denied on several ocassions by eighth-grade goalkeeper Leah Legatt, who kept the Tigers in the game with key saves.
After several minutes of scoreless action, it appeared that the two Big South foes would head into the break at a tie. The Eagles had other ideas, however, as they got on the board with 3:48 left in the first half before adding another quick goal with 56 seconds remaining to take a two-goal advantage going into halftime.
Defensively, Hernandez praised Legatt’s performance in net and felt she did a nice job of sparking the defensive intensity in the first half.
“I think Leah had a lot to do with almost containing the first half and a lot of shots they took on us,” Hernandez said. “She’s a great goalkeeper and she’s still really young being an eighth-grader but she has a lot of qualities and potential. Between her and our defense they worked really hard to not any more goals in (in the first half).”
With their backs against the wall, the Tigers looked to make a push in the opening minutes of the second half to get themselves back into the game. Unfortunately for Marshall, New Ulm had a similar idea on the offensive side of the ball, as the Eagles found the back of the net with 29:24 left to make it 3-0. A New Ulm goal later in the half with 14:30 to play brought it to the 4-0 final.
Marshall (4-6) will face Fairmont on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Hernandez said their biggest takeaway is to not allow the opposing teams to push the ball upfield and take quality shots so quickly.
“I think keeping the other teams from working the ball up and shooting would be a good thing for us to work on,” Hernandez said. “That’s where most of their goals come from, usually it’s a stopped play like a corner or free kick or someone moving up and taking a shot, so we need to work on those things to not let it happen.”