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franklin county times

Russellville Lady Tigers soccer teams win first games of season

The Russellville Lady Tigers varsity and junior varsity soccer teams started the season off with wins last week on home turf in their season opener games. The varsity team came in 2-0 versus Haleyville, and the junior varsity team, in what constitutes their first win since 2021, kicked their way to victory, scoring 10-0 versus Haleyville.

“That was a really big accomplishment for them,” said RHS girls soccer coach Dalany Roberts regarding the JV win. “They’re a very young team, but needless to say, really hard workers, and so, not only was it a win, but it was a mercy rule with 18 minutes left in the game.”

On the varsity win, Roberts said playing on that level means “higher intensity,” noting “the competition can be tough.”

“Despite that, and we are a young team for varsity as well, having lost several seniors last year who were a really big part of the program, but the girls have had such a wonderful transition into leadership themselves – they just haven’t seen it yet,” she added.

Roberts said they’re “constantly uplifting each other, stepping up, communicating, figuring out what they need to do and how to become better,” noting she’s “really seeing a player-led team this year.”

“I want them to find that intrinsic motivation – we are hungry for this as a team – and they felt that the start of the season was a strong one, and I agree with them,” Roberts said. “I think that we’re going to have a really successful season as long as they continue to keep their mentality up and work together like they have been.”

The RHS girls varsity team currently has 20 players.

“We’re kind of a fluid program,” Roberts continued, “so, as we see fit, we may pull girls up from the JV program. We try to start a good foundation and then build as the season progresses. We’re looking at one to two players that will potentially join us at the varsity level at some point in the season.”

The RHS girls junior varsity team currently has 23 players.

“I have a fabulous assistant coach, Kathy Sanchez,” Roberts said. “She has really stepped up for the JV program, and she’s also a former player.”

Roberts is in her second season coaching the RHS girls soccer teams. Born and raised in Colorado, she met her husband at UNA, a Red Bay native, in 2013.

“The girls are fired up,” she added. “They’ve been putting in the work, including early Saturday morning practice. That’s how dedicated they are. That’s amazing.”

The next home game and first area match will be Feb. 22.

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