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Disastrous Finish Sinks Lady Tigers
(File photo) Anna Jones scored the game-tying goal before the wheels fell off the wagon for the Lady Tigers in a 7-2 loss at Nixa.

Through about 60 minutes, Republic and Nixa played like two of the best girls soccer teams in the Central Ozark Conference. From there, it didn’t go so well for the Lady Tigers.

The Lady Tigers gave up the go-ahead goal in a 2-2 tie about midway through the second half. Then they gave up another. And another. And by the time it was over, Republic had suffered a lopsided 7-2 loss on the road against the rival Eagles.

Coach Kevin Hauck said he was disappointed mostly because “I thought it was more a lack of competitiveness. We were doing really well, then Nixa scores to go up 3-2, and you still want the competitive edge. And I feel like you could just kind of feel the focus and the competitive edge drop a little bit,” he said. “Even though we had a couple opportunities to make it 3-3… it never felt like we wanted to stay up at the level [Nixa was] playing at.”

Nixa grabbed a 2-0 lead before Republic got on the board. Hannah Lease scored (assisted by Grace Lightfoot) to make the score 2-1 before halftime. In the second half, Anna Jones tied the game with an assist from Jaiden Gibbs.

But once Nixa regained the lead, Hauck said his team’s defense broke down.

“We just kept making small mistakes of chasing the ball. It comes down to … we’ve got to stay focused for the full 80 minutes and we’ve got to make sure that our defensive rotation is always precise. Our defense is going to keep us in games, and that’s not just putting it on the back four; that’s as a team, defending…is going to keep us in games.”

The Lady Tigers will play against Tuesday at home against Ozark.

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