The North Lamar Pantherettes varsity soccer team entered Friday night's matchup against Community with something to prove. After going 2-2 in the first half of district play, NL had losses to Princeton, 6-0, and Paris, 1-1(4-3). Hungry for a win, they were facing a Community team that had defeated them 9-2 earlier in district play.
The Pantherettes started the match aggressively, with strong defensive pressure and an offensive push that was their best of the season. After having an early goal nullified by an imaginary offsides call, Abbie Fischer found the net fifteen minutes into the match to give NL a 1-0 lead. Ten minutes later, Sydney Beshirs scored off the assist from Jaycie Proctor to give the Pantherettes a 2-0 lead. As the half wore on, the Pantherettes began to wear out and make mistakes on defense that would prove costly. Community scored three times in the last fifteen minutes of the half to lead NL 3-2 at halftime.
Community added to their lead five minutes into the second half to extend their lead to 4-2. But NL would not be denied. Goals by Kylea Basden and Proctor knotted the game at 4-4. After yielding another goal, Beshirs scored again with eighteen minutes left in the match to tie it at 5-5. Fischer gave NL a 6-5 lead with thirteen minutes left. Both teams played with a frenzied sense of desperation as it was apparent that neither squad would accept a loss. With under five minutes to play, Community scored again to tie the match 6-6. The Pantherettes had a tremendous defensive effort against a very talented front line, led by seniors Karlie Ewell (14 saves) and Olivia Reader.
Time expired sending NL to their second shootout in as many games. After falling behind 2-1, the Pantherettes were tied with Community 3-3 going into the final kick. Hylan Gabeline scored and Community failed to convert, giving NL the win 6-6(4-3). Beshirs, Fischer and Basden also had goals in the shootout.
The victory has NL at 3-4 in district heading into the finale with Bonham on Monday night. Princeton has won district and currently sits at 7-0. Community finishes their first year in district play with a record of 4-4. Paris has a record of 4-3 and Bonham is 0-7.
Ealier in the night, the NL JV girls defeated Community 7-0 to complete their undefeated season and win district. Lexie Brown had three goals on the night while Adrianna Evans scored two. Haley Jones and Nelly Torres each scored a goal as well.