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Soccer teams end season with heartbreakers

Hartselle’s boys and girls soccer teams both suffered similar fates in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs.

Both suffered devastating losses that went past the wire. Hartselle’s girls fell 1-0 to East Limestone at home while the boys lost 3-2 at Athens.

Alycia Timm, forward for the girls team, said the loss was tough to handle, especially after losing in penalty kicks to the same team a year ago in the playoffs.

“It was devastating,” Timm said. “We felt like we outplayed them all through the game except on the scoreboard. We had more shots on goal than they did. We kept the ball on their side of the field like 70 percent of the game, but we just didn’t take advantage.”

Still defender Haley Patterson sees a bright future for her team.

“We’re a very young team,” Patterson said. “We only had one senior and the rest of us will be back. I think our future is very bright.”

Lindsey Woodruff, a midfielder, said the team rebounded after a bad start to the season. The Lady Tigers started 1-8 and rallied back to finish 13-11-1. At one point, they played 10 consecutive matches, including four section matches, without allowing a goal.

“Our defense really stepped up during the year and we came together as a team,” Woodruff said. “This is the closest team I’ve ever been on.”

Next year, Hartselle and East Limestone will play in the same section. Woodruff believes it will be different.

“East Limestone had better be ready next year because we’re in the same section,” she added.

For the boys, the game was nearly identical. Senior goalkeeper Cody Forsythe said they outplayed the Eagles, but just had a couple of slipups that cost them the win in regulation.

“We were way better than them on the field, but we let lots of opportunities slip away,” Forsythe said. “We hated to lose it that way, but it was a really solid year for us.”

The Tigers finished 9-10-1 and earned a berth in the playoffs.

“We were way better than last year,” said senior goalkeeper Kyle St. Amand. “There was lots of improvement across the field. We were really young last year, but we were a lot more experienced this year.”

The thing that senior fullback Seth Nuss will take away is how the team came together.

“After that 0-5 start, we really came together and started playing together,” Nuss said. “We became a very close team, probably the closest team I’ve ever been on.”

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