Friday night was the first soccer edition of Crosstown Showdown at both stadiums. The NL boys traveled the shortest road trip of the season while the girls hosted Paris at R. L. Maddox. Two things were learned...the road can be harsh and there's no place like home.
The Pantherettes were facing the Lady Wildcats to determine who would be in 2nd place halfway through district play. NL pushed hard from the opening kick as most of the first half was played on the Paris end of the field. Despite being held out initially, Madison Morrison (11) would break through with a score off the assist from Peyton Fleming (10) about 15 minutes in to the game. This gave NL a 1-0 edge that held up to halftime.
At the same time across town, the NL Panthers were facing the district-leading Wildcats. NL started a new goalie as Nick West is done for the season following his injury on Tuesday. The Wildcats controlled the match from early on, taking a 3-0 lead into half and winning 4-0.
The Pantherettes came into the 2nd half determined yet had to face a furious offensive attack by the visiting Lady Wildcats. The NL defense was tested repeatedly by an increasingly desperate Paris squad, but with strong line play anchored by Shaina Brown (16) in goal they were able to turn back every push.
With 24 minutes left in the match, Karlee Alexander (23) rocketed a free kick from the right side that dropped just in front of the goal. Daisy Rangel (6) won the race to the ball and put it in for the score, giving the Pantherettes a 2-0 lead. With the cushion, NL seemed to gain confidence and control of the game. With six minutes left in the match, Natalie Allen (3) received the ball from Kylea Basden (15) then was able to break away, winning her matchup with the goalie and scoring the third and final goal for the Pantherettes. As the clock reached 00:00, the Pantherettes and their fans celebrated the 3-0 victory.
Earlier on the night the JV boys lost to Paris 10-0. The JV girls defeated Paris 4-0. Hylan Gabeline (6) had two goals as did Kerahgan Scott (13) . Karli Newberry (11) and Sadi English (4) each had an assist.
The varsity Pantherettes are now 2-1 in district and will host district-leading Princeton (3-0) on Tuesday. The varsity Panthers are 0-3 in district and will travel to Princeton (2-1) on Tuesday.