Chris Brooks/For the Times Macon County senior goalkeeper Clay West secures the ball after making a save during the first half of Friday evening’s match against La Vergne.

Chris Brooks/For the Times

Macon County senior goalkeeper Clay West secures the ball after making a save during the first half of Friday evening’s match against La Vergne.

WHITE HOUSE -- The Macon County High boys soccer team has an eye on the postseason, though the Tigers are taking some lumps along the way.

Facing some tough competition last weekend at the White House Round Robin Tournament, the Tigers dropped their first two matches to White House on Thursday and La Vergne on Friday before rebounding with a victory over Giles County on Saturday.

Friday evening's match resulted in the Tigers not being able to play the full 80 minutes as the Wolverines routed Macon County 9-0, triggering the mercy rule just a couple of minutes into the second half.

"Well, unfortunately, in a game like this, there's not much you can learn," Tigers head coach Jeb Coe said. "I mean, you can, get better at little things. We were able to get a few of our link-up plays, and we've worked on some attacking runs. We were able to do that twice. (We) didn't link up for anything, but at least we tried it."

La Vergne led 8-0 at halftime, then ended the match 2:42 into the second half when junior Nicholas Alonzo converted a penalty kick after being taken down in the penalty area. Alonzo's shot beat Tiger senior goalkeeper Clay West to end the match.

"I mean, it's just a really tough game to really do a lot with," Coe said. "We were able to possess some, but they're just so quick and athletic. We were just outmanned, just outclassed."

Under Tennessee's mercy rule, when one team leads by five goals in the first half, the clock runs continuously except for injuries and heat timeouts and continues to run regardless of the goal differential. If a team leads by nine goals at halftime or at any point in the second half, the match ends at that point.

The Wolverines opened the match with three goals over a span of five minutes to take early control of the contest. Senior Roberto Stanley, senior Jonathan Lopez and junior Kevin Marquez netted those goals, putting the Tigers in an early hole that they were unable to climb out of against an experienced squad with 16 juniors and seniors.

Eight different Wolverines scored goals, with Lopez scoring twice. Meanwhile, the Tigers did not generate a shot on goal and were unable to maintain possession in La Vergne's end for very long.

"Well hopefully, we just get more guys more experience," Coe said. "I was able to get probably three or four guys that normally don't see playing time a lot more experience, against a quality opponent. So, they're going to hopefully know what the level of play is going to be like moving forward and be more prepared for the future. So that's, that's one positive I can really pull from it."

Macon County is still dealing with some ailments to starters as well.

"Right now, we're in a tough position with our injuries," Coe said. "We're trying to get some guys healed back up. We're down probably three starters right now. Two of our best players are out with injuries. We're looking to just hold them out and get them ready for postseason and try to make a run."

Meanwhile, underclassmen are gaining more playing time as some of their teammates try to work their way back to an active role in the lineup.

"(Sophomore) Hussein Al Hawamda, he had some very good link-up play on the outside with (junior) Ryan (Underwood) and (sophomore) Brandon Nunez," Coe said. "(Junior) Brady Flores is probably going to be a starting center-back next year with people graduating. He learned he's going to have to step out and defend the ball in the (six-yard box) whenever they take to the goal line and drop it back to the six. He's going to have to step out and defend that. Two of those goals were on him, but he understands that and is going to get better."

The Tigers suffered a 5-0 loss to White House on Thursday evening, falling behind 4-0 at halftime. Josh Delaney scored four goals for the Blue Devils, while Bryson Harper had the other tally. Jacob Harper, Layne Jenkins and Matthew Alford provided assists for White House.

Macon County got back in the win column with a 4-0 victory over Giles County on Saturday. Al Hawamda and junior Holden Shrum scored goals in the first half, giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead at halftime. Shrum and sophomore Eric Osorio added second-half goals to help the Tigers pull away.

"We did a lot of things well," Coe said. "(We) switched to a more direct style of attack, which helped us some."