A reinvigorated North Lamar girls team, fresh of a dominant win over Bonham, came into Monday night’s twice-delayed matchup against crosstown rival Paris ready to play. On a cold and dreary afternoon, these two teams entered tied in district play at 1-1.
The 39-degree temperature did not seem to have an effect on either team, as both started aggressively from the opening kickoff. While there was plenty of action, the game remained scoreless for the first 25 minutes of play, until Paris was able to score and take a 1-0 lead. The Lady Wildcats held this advantage for 22 minutes. Coming out halftime, the North Lamar offense was relentless in pushing the ball up the field.
The Pantherettes were able to tie up the match when Maria Leyva made a header off of a corner kick by Karlee Alexander with 32 minutes left in the match. Despite almost frantic efforts by both teams to score, the clock closed out with the match tied 1-1 setting up a shootout. Each team made four of their first five shots, setting up the sudden death round. Peyton Fleming stepped to the ball in the first sudden death matchup and made a spectacular goal and putting all of the pressure on Paris to score and extend the game. The shot was a great one sent to the left side of the goal with a trajectory that would score. Shaina Brown dove to the right with lightning reflexes, extending fully to knock the ball back away from the goal and seal the victory for North Lamar.
After a thrilling and emotional victory against their crosstown rival, North Lamar had no time to rest as the girls traveled to Princeton Tuesday afternoon having a chance to move into a first-place tie with a victory. The JV girls from North Lamar were able to win the first game 4-0 and set up the rematch between the top two teams in the district.
On what was another cool and foggy night, defense was the theme. The first fifty-six minutes of the game were scoreless until Princeton was able to score with twenty-four minutes left in the match. North Lamar stepped up with a sense of urgency trying to tie the game, but eleventh-ranked Princeton demonstrated why they are one of the best programs in the state by shutting down every opportunity North Lamar had. Princeton added an insurance goal with four minutes bringing the score to 2-0, which would be the final.
The loss drops the Pantherettes to 2-2 in district play with games against Bonham and Paris remaining. North Lamar’s next match will be Friday night, which is also senior night.