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NorrisThe Republic Tigers soccer team overcame a rough first half to force overtime, before losing to Rogersville 2-1 in the district semifinals at Republic Monday. For much of first half, Republic didn’t play as aggressively as Rogersville, and the Wildcats capitalized to take a 1-0 lead at the 17:53 mark. Rogersville’s Tucker Brown took an errant pass in front of the goal and put it home for the first score of the night.

After the break, Republic stepped up its intensity, and it paid off with 25:36 remaining. Riley Norris got loose ten yards in front of the goal, lost his footing, but banged a sidewheel kick into the right side of the net for the equalizer.

Republic kept up the pressure, outshooting Rogersville 12-6 for the game, but couldn’t get on the board again.

“It’s another example of how frustrating soccer can be, when you have chances and can’t get the ball in the back of the net,” says coach Mike Hines. “Welcome to soccer.”

The game ended when Nick Hirschman scored about eight minutes into the first 10-minute overtime period, giving Rogersville the win and advancing them to the district finals Wednesday.

Hines says he’s proud of how far the team has come from its two-win inaugural season two years ago.

“Our progress has been just excellent,” says Hines. “It’s kind of a hollow feeling for these guys to walk out of here and feel good about the progress they’ve made, with a loss. But I’m just really proud of their effort.”

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