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Poplarville soccer splits weekend tournament

Poplarville’s girls soccer team started the season with two games in quick succession over the weekend.

The Hornets took on Laurel and South Jones in a tournament hosted by Sumrall High School.

Not only was this the team’s first competitive action, but it also allowed Head Coach Beth McShea to empty her bench and see which players have the skills to compete on a varsity level.

The first game for Poplarvillle was against Laurel and the match ended with the Hornets coming out on top 2-0.

Juniors Juliana Wells and Evelyn Kimball provided the goals while goalkeeper Peyton Barber recorded her first shutout of the season.

McShea said the team didn’t come out with the best energy against the Golden Tornadoes, but as the game wore on, the players were able to adjust and execute.

“They were playing the ball well with each other and getting shots off. We scored early, so I went ahead and started subbing since we had another game that day,” McShea said.

The second game of the day took place against the South Jones Braves. South Jones ended up winning 2-1, but McShea said her team’s performance improved tremendously in the second game.

“We played a whole lot better just in general. Our energy level was higher and our passing accuracy was better,” McShea said.

Next up for the Hornets’ soccer team is a match up against county rival PRC.

Before the two teams face off, McShea wants her squad to improve on its accuracy and goal scoring.

“We’re going to work on finishing and then passing, taking care of the ball and making sure the passes are good,” McShea said.

The Blue Devils will provide some stiff competition early in the season for Poplarville.McShea said the two teams have been evenly matched in the past and that it’ll serve as a challenge for her team early in the season. “I’m hoping they can come out and play at a high energy level, and PRC is always good competition for us, especially at the beginning of the year. They’re always energetic and come out fast, it’s a good game to start with,” McShea said. The game will take place at PRC and the match will start at 5:30 p.m. for the girls team and 7 p.m. for the boys team.