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Munford soccer keeps focus in mid-September

By Thomas Sellers Jr.
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Munford's Courtney Howard sneaks in a header against TRA's Brittany Hall during last week's contest in Rosemark.

Munford’s Courtney Howard sneaks in a header against TRA’s Brittany Hall during last week’s contest in Rosemark.

The 2016 Munford Lady Cougar Soccer team are on a mission.
In 2015 under then first-year Head Coach Dylan Burnett, Munford reached the Regional Semifinals suffering a defeat to the Bartlett Lady Panthers. Coming into this season, Burnett wanted to beef up the schedule to prepare for another October showdown.
Coming into the Sept. 13 match-up with area rival the Tipton-Rosemark Academy Lady Rebels, Munford compiled a 7-3 record, winning four games in row.
The Lady Cougars started the winning streak with a 3-2 victory over Germantown. Then Munford rallied off three straight wins in the North Side Shootout held in Jackson.
Burnett’s squad defeated Dickson County, McNairy Central and Jackson South Side to win the championship.
On a hot streak, the Lady Cougars continued their winning ways against TRA picking up a 7-0 victory on the TRA Soccer Field.
“We faced some adversity this weekend with our games,” Burnett acknowledged. “We come out strong in the first and then come out flat and soft in the second. We’ll allow a goal allowing the other team back into the game.
“My girls, it took that goal in that certain situation, to wake them up,” he continued. “So we’re learning ways to be mentally tough. Just because you’re up on a team 2-0, 3-0 or 4-0 doesn’t mean a team can’t claw back into the game. You have to go out strong in the second half. You still have 40 minutes to play. And that’s what this crew this year is having to learn.”
After pulling off a close win over Dickson County 3-2, Munford dominated the rest of their stay in Jackson outscoring its final two opponents 7-1.
The Lady Cougars equaled that tally against TRA with goals from Demi Brown (assisted by Matti Ping), Kasey Moore (assisted by Brown), Lyndsie Ralyea (assisted by Rachel Davenport), Brown (assisted by Moore), own goal, and Ping with final two goals.
“I had a lot of my younger girls and subs get in and get some quality playing time,” Burnett said. “It was a good team win all the way around. It was a good experience for some of the girls.”
The Lady Cougars have been able to mix younger talent with his senior leadership. Under the guidance of Burnett and Assistant Coach Louis Hale, the Lady Cougars are set big goals while maintaining a sharp focus.
“I try to keep it one game at a time,” Burnett said “But it is hard with these girls getting as close as they did last year to not have Bartlett in the back of their minds or that Regional Semifinal game in their minds.
“Since our season ended, that’s all the girls have talked about, ‘Take care of district and get back to that Regional Semi and take care of business,’” he concluded. “I have to reassure them, ‘Girls, you have to take it one game at a time. You can never overlook any team.’ I think their mindset is to take it one game at a time and they’re ready to open up district play.”

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