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SA's Gardner encouraged despite home soccer loss to PCS

September 26, 2012

Starkville Academy's Jordan Jackson pursues the soccer ball during Wednesday afternoon's match. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)

Sometimes it's hard to find a silver lining when a soccer team doesn't score a goal in a match.

However, Starkville Academy soccer coach Robert Gardner found a reason to be encouraged Wednesday afternoon.

Despite a 2-0 loss to Presbyterian Christian School that dropped the Lady Volunteers to 3-4 in the Class AAA-District 2 Conference race, Gardner thought they "performed as well as I would have wanted."

"We're certainly positive about the performance," Gardner said. "In the first half, we got away from our game plan more than I would have liked. We talked at halftime about the way we wanted to attack and that we thought we could cause some problems. That's exactly what we did in the second half. We caused some problems. You have to give credit to (PCS) defensively because they put pressure on the ball. We just needed a couple of goals and couldn't get them."

Danielle Henley scored a goal midway through the first half for Presbyterian Christian as it held a 1-0 lead at halftime.

Jordan Jackson had a couple of shots on goal for SA, but both attempts went off the mark.

Gardner was pleased that Jackson got herself in position for the opportunities.

"Jordan had a good game and performed well," Gardner said. "She put plenty of pressure on the ball and gave her a couple of chances, so I'm happy with her performance."

The Lady Vols, who fell to 6-9 overall, finished a stretch of four varsity matches in three days with today's 3:30 p.m. outing against Copiah Academy at Starkville Sportsplex soccer fields.

Gardner knows the schedule is tough for his squad, but likes the way it's handle the situation so far.

"It's the business end of the season," Gardner said. "It's hectic, but that's part of it. There have been certainly good performances this week and I am encouraged, especially entering the playoffs. We're playing well at the proper time of the season.

"That's something that always has been encouraging with their resiliency to play their best soccer the last weeks of September and early October. I feel positive about it."

Today will be senior day at the Sportsplex as Tiffany Huddleston, Jessica Dennis, Tiffany Evans, Emilie Sanders and Garland Willcutt will be honored for their contributions to the program.

"They were sophomores when I first came in," Gardner said. "I've obviously got a good attachment to them."

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