The conditions were less than favorable with chilly temperatures, wind and rain but it didn’t stop North Pike girls soccer from playing a complete game Tuesday, topping McComb 5-0 on senior night.
Regardless of the weather, North Pike head coach Tressa Terrell said that the plan was to ramp up the intensity against the Tigers.
“In practice yesterday, we changed a few things and said that we were going to play a more aggressive offensive game where as we have been focusing more on being a defensive team,” Terrell said. “We needed to step up.”
The Jaguars (4-1) got off to a strong start as the forwards were able to advance the ball to the McComb side numerous times while the backs prevented any shots on goal for the Tigers (2-5).
Despite being one of the backs, Meredith Bates was the first to get a shot on goal for North Pike — who finished with 28 on the evening. Bates’ shot came in just the second minute of play helping to set the tone for the Jaguars, who got three additional shots on goal over the next 15 minutes.
The scoring drought was broken in the 20th minute when junior Averi Paden provided the first goal of the evening.
“At the beginning of the game we were a little bit shaky and we definitely needed to get our heads in the game,” Paden said. “My goal just kind of relaxed us all and it was just kind of up from there.”
Just 11 minutes later, the Jaguars added to their lead when Allie Lewis scored on a floater shot putting North Pike up 2-0.
Keeping the momentum going, a goal on a rebound by Amari Simmons in the 35th minute made the score 3-0 in favor of the hosts.
It was more of the same in the second half as Paden scored one of two goals to finish off the game.
“North Pike played well,” McComb head coach Casey Brumfield said. “I told my girls going in that the difference maker is the hustle and we have to play the ball. Not taking anything away from North Pike, they are a good team but this year for us it is a rebuild year.”
McComb boys top N. Pike
Speed seemed to be a weapon for the McComb boys Tuesday night as the Tigers displayed their quickness despite rainy and cold conditions, picking up a 5-1 victory over North Pike on the road.
Erick Martin led the way for McComb (2-4) with two goals.
“I’m happy, I’m just playing and trying to win,” said Martin, a sophomore.
Brumfield — who also coaches the boys’ squad in addition to the girls’ — said that she believes her team’s quickness played a huge role in the win.
“That is our key,” she said. “Our momentum feeds off of our athleticism. When I get a team full of football boys and track boys, then I try to build around that.”
Martin kicked off the scoring for the Tigers in the 44th minute, however it was answered 12 minutes later when Max Stewart sent a shot into the goal that was misplayed by the McComb goalkeeper resulting in a point for the Jaguars (1-5).
While the goal fired up North Pike — who was competing on senior night — the momentum did not last long as McComb responded four minutes later with Martin’s second goal.
A goal by Gariun Wells in the 63rd minute was complimented by one from Jontavius Patterson in the 75th minute and one from LiRaymond Dangerfield in the 79th minute as the Tigers pulled away.
North Pike coach Pig Terrell was disappointed in not getting the win but proud of the way his guys fought against a competitive McComb team.
“McComb has come a long way and they have really good coaching and I respect coach Brumfield,” he said. “But on senior night, you want your seniors go out (on a high note). We are a very young team. We are growing.”