Livingston Academy Head Coach David Sadler said on Monday that it finally hit him that his team will be playing in the State Tournament.
It may come after a two-day delay thanks to Tropical Storm Zeta, but Sadler’s Livingston Academy Lady Cats are set for a date with Dyersburg tonight in Murfreesboro.
Here’s everything you need to know about this game.
The Lady Cat offense will have its chances
Livingston Academy’s offense has been dynamic this season, as they’ve put up seven games with three or more goals.
That being said, in their current 10-match winning streak, they’ve had six games where they scored two goals or less. They’ve ridden a defense that has played lights out (more on them shortly), and while both sides of the field have played well, Livingston may have to score more to defeat Dyersburg.
This is the biggest test of the season for the defense
The aforementioned defense has been quietly spectacular, as evidenced by the low scoring numbers by opponents this season.
For the year, the Lady Cats are averaging less than a single goal allowed per game and they’ve had only five games all season where they’ve allowed more than one goal. Even in those games, their record is 3-1-1 so they’ve found ways to win even if the defense has an off-night.
Add in that this is a group that has played together since they were freshmen, and you’ve got a unit that knows each other, communicates well and is on one of their hottest streaks of the season. If you need a group of players to watch on defense, keep this unit of Emma Sadler, Estie Holman and Maylee Bilbrey in mind.
Continued Goalkeeper play a must
When the defense is playing as well as they are, it makes life as a goalkeeper that much easier.
That’s not to say Tori Hinds hasn’t put together a District Goalkeeper of the Year-type season however, as she’s pitched eight shutouts this season. This includes four since Oct. 8, and three of those were in postseason play.
Dyersburg is averaging over four goals a game for the season, making this one of the most dynamic offenses LA has faced. In non-wins, Dyersburg is only averaging around two goals a game, a number that is propped up by a 4-4 tie they sustained against Munford early in the season. Take that out, and the average drops to a single goal a game.
All of this is to say one thing: for Livingston Academy to win this game, they’ll need that stellar defense and goalkeeper play to continue.
It all goes down tonight at 6:30 P.M. at the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex in Murfreesboro.