By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
RAYMOND – Tupelo coach Mark Enis was confident in his pregame prediction: “Patrick McPherson will score a goal.”
The former Golden Wave star didn’t let his coach down.
McPherson not only scored a goal in Saturday’s annual Mississippi Association of Coaches All-Star Soccer Game, he scored the only goal in the North’s 1-0 victory against the South at Hinds Community College.
McPherson, a Delta State signee, scored on a header in the opening two minutes of the second half with an assist from Madison Central’s B.J. Williams.
“B.J. made a run down field and I kept my run going,” said McPherson, who was named the game’s offensive MVP. “I just headed it in.”
McPherson, who scored 14 goals his senior season, was frustrated he missed on other opportunities to score.
“I missed on two or three,” he said. “We could have scored five, six, seven goals. The heat was the main thing. You don’t want to make your runs.”
The temperature on the field at the game’s noon start was 106 degrees.
McPherson’s play impressed the North coach, Warren Central’s Greg Head.
“He really surprised me,” he said. “I didn’t get to see Tupelo play. He impressed me. He was fast, had good touch … and the boy can jump. He knows when to make a run.
“Again, I was impressed.”
East Central’s Matt Greenough, who played for the South, was the game’s defensive MVP.
North girls fall
Matthew Woods had some sound postgame advice for his North girls all-stars.
“All you girls playing college next year need to start running,” the Madison Central coach said.
A sweat-soaked Jessie Reeder, Tupelo’s senior defender and Delta State signee, understood Woods’ message … especially after she played in a sun-baked match.
“I’m glad we got water breaks,” said Reeder, who admitted that she hadn’t run since the high school state playoffs in February. “It was hard to breathe out there.”
Reeder’s North team lost 6-0 to the South in a match that saw Our Lady Academy’s Mischa Tice score four goals, the last one in the final seconds.
Tice was named the game’s co-offensive MVP with teammate Molly Atherton of Gulfport, who scored one goal and had two assists. Madison Central’s Michelle McKissick was the defensive MVP.
The South, which outshot the North 32 to eight, controlled the flow of the game.
Reeder believes familiarity aided the South’s play.
“Most of the South players play together year round in select,” she said. “They know each other really well.
“All the girls on our team are rivals,” she added, then smiled. “We’ve all become friends this week.”
Tice, who scored her first goal in the 8th minute, and Atherton, gave the South a 3-0 halftime lead. Tice had two first-half goals. She added two more in the second half while Northeast Jones’ Morgan Pace scored one.
Two other Northeast Mississippi-area players participated – Pontotoc forward Lauren Howell, a Toccoa Falls (Ga.) College signee, and Pontotoc defender Hannah Rayburn, an ICC signee.