Anna Hebert and her Lady Tigers entered the playoffs as the No. 2 seed from Region 2-AAAAAA, but they also entered the game with a number of injuries and it showed in the 4-2 loss to Lee County.
Early in the game, Alcovy looked like the better team early on in the game. Baylea Payne would score the first goal of the contest before Lee County answered minutes later.
During the contest you could see Alcovy get tired as the game continued, forcing Hebert to go to her already injury-plagued bench early and often.
“We’ve had some injuries and we had people who, tonight was their first game back from injuries. I would say fitness was an issue for some of our people who could keep up for 25 minutes, and then needed to come out,” Hebert said.
Payne answered with another goal in the first half to give Alcovy another lead, but it would be the Lady Tigers final lead of the game. Lee County tied the game yet again AT 2-2 before halftime, but it could’ve been worse for Alcovy had it not been for Daphne Ramirez’s incredible play at goalkeeper.
“She has the best reflexes,” Hebert said.
“Daphne can keep us in the game and her ability to come off the line and take away some of those angles is great, but our speed in the back has been a weakness all year,” she added.
Hebert says it was Ramirez that kept them competitive and kept them in the game as she had 25-plus saves.
Because of the injuries the team wasn’t as conditioned as it usually is and Lee County used that to its advantage using short passes in small spaces and then streaking by Alcovy’s final line of defense with speed and quick in-and-out moves. Lee County’s third goal came with under 31 minutes to play after Payne drew a yellow card, the Lady Trojans converted on a cross from the free kick opportunity.
Sydney Ziglar, who has been nursing a quad injury, did her best to give Alcovy some much needed offense, as she was able to get inside the box twice, but she missed both attempts and missed another attempt just outside the box.
Ramirez, Ziglar and Payne are all freshmen and were arguably biggest contributors to the team this season. With that type of talent, Alcovy will be back again next year to make some noise in the playoffs.