McClain junior Kerigan Pollard battles with Miami Trace's Emily Powell Tuesday at McClain Field. Pollard finished with three goals for the Lady Tigers. (HCP Photo/Stephen Forsha)
McClain junior Kerigan Pollard battles with Miami Trace's Emily Powell Tuesday at McClain Field. Pollard finished with three goals for the Lady Tigers. (HCP Photo/Stephen Forsha)
GREENFIELD — The first half saw the McClain Lady Tigers and Miami Trace Lady Panthers play even on the scoreboard after 40 minutes of action. During the second half, that wasn’t the case for the home team McClain squad, with the Lady Panthers pulling away for a 7-4 win in Frontier Athletic Conference play.

The Lady Tigers are in the midst of having one of — if not their best — seasons in program history, and though the improvement has been evident this season by their overall results, Tuesday night wasn’t the case in the second half as the score went from being tied at 3-3 to Miami Trace scoring four consecutive goals in a 30-minute span for a lead of 7-3.

McClain added a final goal with 2:03 remaining on the clock, giving junior Kerigan Pollard a hat trick, as she also scored two goals in the first half of the FAC contest. Pollard now has 22 goals this season, averaging 3.7 goals per game.

Pollard has earned no less than three goals in each game this season, with four three-goal games (Circleville, Logan Elm, Jackson, Miami Trace), a four-goal game against Fairfield and a six-goal game against Washington.

“We had a really good first half, and we got the lead a couple times but gave it right back,” McClain head coach Tyler Carman said. “It was a hot night, and we are coming off our fair break, so maybe that is my fault not being in the best shape, and that was the big difference in the second half. They (MTHS) found some space, and they capitalized.”

In fact, Pollard was the first to score a goal in the game — as she’s averaging a hat-trick for the season — beginning with her first goal of the game with 36:44 on the clock at McClain Field for a 1-0 lead over the visiting Lady Panthers.

Siara Eggleton tied the score at 1-1 for the Lady Panthers as she also collected a hat trick for her efforts Tuesday, with her first goal of the trifecta coming with 25:58 on the clock.

Pollard answered with a second goal of the game with 11:11 on the clock for a 2-1 McClain lead, but it was Eggleton, once again, with a goal, sending the Miami Trace squad to a 2-2 tied score with 10:35 left in the opening half.

Miami Trace (2-1, 4-3) gained the lead for the first time in the match with a goal at the 4:21 mark for a 3-2 advantage, but McClain was there to tie the score off a goal by Payton Pryor with 1:37 on the clock for a 3-3 score that stayed until the end of the first half arrived.

The second half had the first goal go to the back of the net off a kick from Eggleton, who collected her hat trick in the process with 34:42 left in regulation, moving Miami Trace ahead by a 4-3 score. Following a few minutes of scoreless soccer, the Lady Panthers added to their lead with a goal from Reagan Barton at the 17:46 mark

That was followed with a sixth Miami Trace goal for the night, that one placed in the back of the net by Magarah Bloom with 15:23 left on the McClain Field scoreboard for a 6-3 advantage for Miami Trace. The Lady Panthers added to their lead one last time with 10:17 on the scoreboard as Kaylie Lott made it a 7-3 lead.

Pollard completed the aforementioned hat-trick by scoring the final McClain goal of the night with 2:03 left on the clock.

Carman talked about players who don’t show up on the score sheet but contributed in a big way for the Lady Tigers.

“Beckley Smith is my anchor back there, and she’s not going to get goals or assists, but she gets tackles and she hustles,” he said. “Kayla Anderson was our center-mid today, and she is having a great senior year. She wins the ball, she passes and gets it on the outside and give us a chance to get in scoring position.”

Coach Carman also spoke about the positives in the game and for the season thus far in 2019.

“Our record hasn’t been that great in the past, and this preseason we wanted to take things day by day,” he said. “My girls fight, give me 80 minutes no matter how tired they were. Years past we let a 7-4 score snowball into a 9-4, 10-4 game. These girls will give me everything they have for 80 minutes. There is no doubt about that, and there is no quit.

“We are 3-2-1 and had a big tie against Jackson the last time out, and give credit to Miami Trace, I know they graduated a lot of kids last year, but they still have a quality team. We need to learn from this one, go back to practice Wednesday and go play Chillicothe on Thursday,” Carman continued. “Like I said, it is good to get back on the field. We have a good group of kids, and we are taking things day by day and moving forward.”

The loss sends MHS to a 3-2-1 overall record and a 1-1-1 FAC mark.

Next for the Lady Tigers is an away FAC game on Thursday, Sept. 12 at Chillicothe against the Lady Cavaliers.

(Editor’s note: A photo gallery will be added to the article on Wednesday.)