The Panther Press

NL Soccer Clubs Off To Bumpy Start In District Play

Adam Routon

The Pantherettes entered the district tournament with high expectations last Friday against Princeton. The JV started the night with a 3-0 victory, with two goals by Hylan Gabeline (6) and one by Jamielynn Parker (22).  

The varsity ladies came out against the preseason district favorite with strong defensive play that resulted in a 0-0 tie at half. Aggressive play by Princeton in the 2nd half paid off as the referees tolerated an increasing level of contact by the home squad.  They were able to score just over 5 minutes in and would add two more to defeat NL 3-0. 

Meanwhile back at R. L. Maddox, the NL boys JV lost to Princeton 3-1. The lone goal was scored on a free kick by Jeremy Bolton (7) .

The varsity boys played hard but some of the inexperience showed up with missed passes and opportunities. At the end of the night they found themselves at 0-1 in district, losing 4-0.   Coach Aaron Welch cited hard play and their "never give up" attitude as positives from the effort on the field. 

Both varsity squads traveled to Bonham on Tuesday night to play in frigid temperatures and wet conditions. The Pantherettes took the field first and seemed to have the offensive strategy of "score...a lot". Peyton Fleming (10)  scored the first of her three goals on the night less than two minutes in. In her second game since the end of basketball season Madison Morrison (11) would add two goals. Lauren Howerton (9) scored a goal as well as NL defeated Bonham 6-0.  Morrison , Karlee Alexander (23) and Kylea Basden (15) each had an assist.  

The varsity boys took to the field next but would not fair as well. NL would lose the match in an overtime shootout, but the most devastating loss on the night was when senior goalie Nick West (1) broke his leg while making a save.  With surgery scheduled, this marks the end of West' season and NL career. 

The Pantherettes will face Paris on Friday night at R. L. Maddox stadium with both teams at 1-1-0 in district. The Panthers will be at Paris on Friday. Paris is 2-0-0 while NL is 0-2-0. The action on both fields starts with the JV squads at 5:30.