It was a good start of the second half for the Starkville Academy girls soccer team Thursday afternoon.
The Lady Volunteers got what they wanted with a goal to break a 0-0 deadlock at halftime and things appears to be moving in a positive direction.
However, Starkville Academy allowed three unanswered goals and lost a 3-1 decision to Pillow Academy at the Starkville Sportsplex.
The Lady Vols saw their overall record fall to 0-4, but the loss was the toughest on coach Robert Gardner so far this season.
"This one of the four probably hurts more than any other, just because I know we were better than them and we passed better than them," Gardner said. "The credit goes to them because they took their chances."
Starkville Academy scored first with approximately 10 minutes gone in the second half as Anna McKell got the Pillow goal keeper to come away from the goal, kicked the soccer ball passed her and Jacey Williams was in position to finish the play.
"We made the substitution and within a minute, we shuffled to the outside and their player pushed forward," Gardner said. "I think the ball was already in the net. We had Jacey long and brought Anna wide. Anna created the space and got on the outside of the defender. The ball was there and Jacey was right there. It was what we've done (in practice) and everything was done properly."
It was shortly after that the Lady Mustangs scored a goal to tie the match and added two more goals to take the victory.
The second half struggles continued for the Lady Vols as they have allowed eight scores during that time in the last two matches.
"The goals we conceded were tough and that's the way it falls sometimes," Gardner said. "I take responsibility for all the failures. I've always said that."
Starkville Academy continues a homestand next Tuesday against Washington School.
Gardner said the Lady Vols have no choice but to learn from the first four matches of the season and move on.
"That's the only thing we can do," Gardner said. "We need to be responsible with the approach we take, address things, improve in practice and hope they will translate in games."