SA soccer loses in overtime
Once again the Starkville Academy Lady Volunteers struck first on a goal by Sallie Kate Richardson during a home soccer match.
For the second-straight match at the Starkville Sportsplex, the Lady Vols couldn't build on that momentum and turn it into a win.
Pillow Academy came to town for an early afternoon match and left town with a 3-1 overtime victory against Starkville Academy.
The Lady Vols had their chances to add to the advantage, then had oppotunities in the second half once Pillow had tied the score.
In the first overtime down 2-1, a point blank shot attempt by Starkville Academy's Payton Allen was deflected by the Pillow goal keeper.
"I think we played better than them," Allen said. "We just didn't put away our chances. That was the difference."
With the loss, the Lady Vols saw their records fall to 4-6 overall and 3-2 in the conference.
"If we take care of business the rest of the way, we're going to be second (in the conference)," Starkville Academy coach Robert Gardner said. "We're happy about second, but we felt like if things had gone a little bit differently today that we would have had the chance to be first."
Richardson scored a goal for the Lady Vols within the first minute of the first half and took the 1-0 lead into halftime.
After Pillow's Chloe Bush scored in the second half to send the match into overtime, Airston Small put back in a Bush miss and Carter McNeer added an insurance goal for the Lady Mustangs in the two-10 minute overtime frames.
Even though things slipped away from SA, Gardner was once again "pretty happy" with the effort.
"We've always got to work that much harder than (the opponent) and (the Lady Mustangs) were just a little bit better than us (Thursday)," Gardner said. "I can't fault our effort by any means. It was just one of those days we didn't have enough."
There was one Lady Vol, in particular, Gardner singled out for her performance.
"I'd like to commend Shelby Carpenter," Gardner said. "I thought this was by far her best game of the season. She did really well on the back line."
Starkville Academy was slowed to a degree in the first half after Tiffany Huddleston went down with a quad injury. She spent the rest of the match trying to walk it off and put her best foot forward.
"When you lose Tiffany Huddleston, your offense is going to look a little bit different, but I'm not going to use that as an excuse by any means," Gardner said.
The Lady Vols look to get Huddleston back to near 100 percent in time for Tuesday's home match against Magnolia Heights.