Soccer postseason begins Tuesday for Lady Vols

Karlee McNeel
Staff Writer

A loss to end the regular season can be looked upon as a negative in most situations.

That's not how Starkville Academy soccer coach JoJo Dodd looks at it.

Even though he didn't like the 2-0 loss to Pillow Academy last Thursday, Dodd said there is something the Lady Volunteers can learn from that match as they enter the playoffs.

"Coming into the playoffs with a loss allowed us to sit back and think about where we can improve as individuals and as a team," Dodd said. "The question is how do the girls respond. We hope they respond in a positive way and it will make us better."

Starkville Academy has enjoyed another good season up to this point following a Division III State championship run of 2016.

The Lady Volunteers take an 11-2 overall record into Tuesday's first round of the postseason against Bayou Academy. The 5 p.m. match will be played at the Starkville Sportsplex.

Karlee McNeel, one of the senior captains of the squad, likes what Starkville Academy has accomplished the last two years and believes there is more success to come.

"There's a tremendous amount of pressure on our backs coming off a state championship season last year, but our team has responded really well to that," McNeel said. "Going into the playoffs, we need to keep that same level of determination that we've had all season. Being undefeated in our district really sets the tone for the level of play we have to establish from the beginning of every game. I really expect our team to come out fighting and ready to play (Tuesday)."

Dodd took over as soccer coach at SA for Matt Sykes. He likes the work that has been put in by the Lady Vols.

"We worked real hard all summer in June and July in the heat at camps," Dodd said. "The season has had highs and lows, but obviously more highs than lows."