Blue Waves topple Philadelphia Tornadoes


Courtesy of Lydia Berry

The Blue Waves kicked off the new year with their first district against Philadelphia Tornadoes. The MSMS girl’s team competed until the last minute, finishing with a score of 5-0.

Carter Moore, Graphics/Layout Editor

The MSMS Blue Waves girls’ soccer team entered the spring semester with five matches remaining in the regular season. After a face-off against St. Andrews on Tuesday, Jan. 12, was postponed, they defeated the Philadelphia Tornadoes 5-0 in a Class 1 Region 4 matchup on Thursday, Jan. 14, at Philadelphia. With this win, the girls’ team improves to 4-1 on the season and 1-0 in the region.

The boys’ match that had been scheduled to follow was canceled due to a season-ending COVID quarantine among the Philadelphia team.

Juniors provided all of the scoring for the match. Madison Johnson scored three goals, Mackenzie Pitts had one goal and an assist, and Lauren Rutherford had one goal. Senior captain Ashley Mangus and junior Elena Eaton also had assists.

Head Coach Chuck Yarborough credited the win to both strong offensive and defensive showings.

“It was wonderful having Madison notch her second hat trick of this season,” said Yarborough, “and Camille’s five saves to preserve the clean sheet were outstanding.”

Madison Johnson and senior keeper Camille Newman both expressed excitement for the win to kick off the semester.

I think we played very well together this game. We had multiple great assists from our midfield and awesome defense,” said Johnson. “Philadelphia definitely gave us a push, but we came out on top.

“Despite not having practiced much since before Thanksgiving, the team played very well,” said Newman. “It felt good to be back on the field with such a great team!”

Lauren Rutherford echoed these sentiments, also noting the outstanding return to play her teammates demonstrated.

“I think the team overall did pretty good,” said Rutherford. “I believe we did much better in the second half of the game, and I think we did especially well after not playing since before Thanksgiving.”

Captain Ashley Mangus sees the result as evidence of exceptional cooperation and coordination among the team.

“It just shows how quickly our newer players and experienced players learned to work with each other and help each other out when needed,” said Mangus. “The game overall was refreshing for everyone and got everyone ready to play even better than before.”

Both MSMS soccer teams will play home matches against St. Joseph’s and Yazoo County Thursday, Jan. 21, and Saturday, Jan. 23, to close the regular season.

Thursday’s match marked the girls’ first appearance on the field since their Nov. 17 loss to Vardaman, and Coach Yarborough noted a solid performance from his team to begin the second half of the season.

“For our first match since before Thanksgiving, the girls did splendidly,” Yarborough said. “After a slow start, our communication on the pitch consistently improved, and some beginner players got great playing experience.”