Starkville's Noa Hardin (18) looks to set up Haley Jenkins during Friday's match against New Hope. Hardin scored the only goal of the match as the Lady Yellowjackets lost a 2-1 decision at the Mississippi State football practice field. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)
The Starkville Lady Yellowjackets gave head coach Anna Albritton more of what she was looking for during Friday night's Class 5A, Region 2 match against New Hope.
However in soccer, like most sporting events, it takes two successful halves to come out with a victory.
The Lady Jackets fell behind the Lady Trojans 1-0 at halftime and ended up dropping a 2-1 decision at the Mississippi State football practice field.
Following the match, Albritton was disappointed with the result, which left her shaking her head as to why.
"If we had played the first half like we did the second half, it would have been different," Albritton said. "I don't know what it was. Being on turf, it was a little bit faster and we had to chase the ball down a lot more than we normally do.
"I don't think the level of play was as good as the first time we played. Anytime you have a loss, it's disappointing. With the point difference and knowing we were going to be district champs, which we are, I just wish we had come out with a win."
After New Hope had taken the lead, Noa Hardin scored a goal for Starkville early in the second half to tie the match.
The Lady Trojans came right back, got the deciding goal and held off the Lady Jackets at the end. Starkville had some shots at goal late, but were sent off the mark.
Despite the loss, Starkville still finished the regular season as division champs with a 3-1 mark and has a 6-5-3 overall record with several losses coming to some of the best teams in the state.
"It's bittersweet because I wanted to win," Albritton said. "This is a good group of girls and we had to play some young ones (Friday night). I had one out of town and another that had to leave at halftime, so I had to throw a freshman in there that didn't have a lot of experience. There were a lot of factors."
The Lady Jackets host the first round of the Class 5A playoffs next week. The match will be played either Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on the results between Saltillo and Oxford."
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