Posted: Tuesday, 26 March 2013 8:58PM

Lady Tigers claw back late

Republic, Mo. (For  -- The Republic Lady Tigers came back after halftime to take down the visiting Mountain View-Birch Trett Liberty Lady Eagles on Tuesday night.  Republic had fallen behind 2-1 at halftime, but reorganized during the second half to win the game 4-2.

“We had a pretty good start, we were moving the ball around and doing some things that we didn’t do in our first game,” said Republic head coach Mike Hines. “We were moving laterally… and we had a couple of combinations where we put together 15 or 20 passes.  We looked great [on offense].”

Republic’s defense, though, did not come together as seamlessly.  Liberty’s Cassidy Ledgerwood scored the Eagles’ first goal on a counter attack midway through the first-half after beating several Republic defenders.

“We wanted to come out and play hard and see what they were made of,” said Liberty head coach Jessica Ball. “The girls have played [Republic before] and I saw them play a couple of years ago, so we knew they were going to be a tough team.”

Republic quickly answered back with a goal from Sarah Marcotte, but fell behind again in the last minutes of the first half after Liberty’s Jessica Mantel drove one into the back of the net on a PK.

Republic looked to tighten up on defense at halftime in an attempt provide its offense with more scoring opportunities.

“We knew that they like to take the ball up the middle… and so we were very concentrated up the middle to try and put up some resistance,” Hines said about Republic’s overall strategy. “We played a three-two-three-two, which is a formation we’ve never played before.”

Republic’s strategy paid off early in the second half, providing an opportunity for playmaker Sierra Casagrand to score. Casagrand left the game shortly after her goal due to a previous injury.

Even without one of their key players, the Tigers pressed on.  Republic’s third goal came from Marcotte, who tapped the ball in after settling it near the 18.

Ashley Bannfield scored Republic’s final goal on a breakaway near the 60th minute.  This shored up the Tigers' lead and allowed them to focus on their defense.

“I liked the fact that we were down, came back, down, and came back.  That shows that we have some resiliency,” said Hines.

This win puts Republic at 1-1 for the season.  The Tigers will go on to play at Springfield Central on March 29 at 4:30.

Liberty also stands at 1-1.  They will play at West Plains on April 1 at 5:00.

Republic 4, Liberty 2
Liberty – Jessica Mantel
Republic – Sarah Marcotte
Liberty – Cassidy Ledgerwood
Republic – Sierra Casagrand
Republic – Sarah Marcotte
Republic Ashley Bannfield

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Ava won the battle of SCA unbeatens with a walk-off sac fly.

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