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Picayune soccer loses close game to Hancock

The first game back from the holiday break saw the Picayune Maroon Tide lose to the Hancock Hawks 2-1 on Jan. 7.

Head Coach Britton Fortenberry said his team had multiple opportunities to score more goals, but the players weren’t able to finish in the final third.

“I thought we missed a few chances that we probably should’ve finished. We had a couple really good looks, but we weren’t able to find the back of the net,” Fortenberry said.

The team wasn’t at full strength as they played their back up goalkeeper and had some field players out due to injury.

This meant younger players got more time on the pitch. Fortenberry said the young players performed well against a talented opponent like Hancock.

“We moved the ball well and executed offensively by getting the ball wide and creating those chances. Defensively I thought it was a solid effort,” Fortenberry said.

The game was a tune up for a major district match up against the Hattiesburg Tigers coming up on Jan. 14.

Fortenberry needs to make sure his team doesn’t look ahead to the coming game and instead focuses while on the practice field.

“We don’t look past anyone. We have to control today, get better today and take care of business today,” Fortenberry said.

Picayune took on Hattiesburg earlier in the season and earned a district win with a 2-0 final.

The Maroon Tide will be preparing in hopes it can earn a similar result when the two teams face off next week.

Fortenberry and his squad knows the type of soccer they want to play.

A formation change at the beginning of the year led to some growing pains, but now the players understand their roles and how to work within the new system.

Now it’s the competitive spirit he really wants to see improved upon.

“I want to see them come out and compete. I just want them to go out there and have their best game. We can live with whatever the result is,” Fortenberry said.

The game against Hattiesburg is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. and will be an away game for the Maroon Tide.