The Panther Press

NL Soccer Hosts Community in Varsity Doubleheader

Adam Routon

Both the boys and girls NL varsity squads entered the final week of district 11-4A soccer action with playoff hopes on the line. The boys fate is still in question while the girls have locked up a spot and were playing for positioning.

 Jerika Johnson moves the ball through Community defenders

Jerika Johnson moves the ball through Community defenders

After going 2-2 in the 1st half of district play, the Pantherettes came into Tuesday night’s match having lost two straight to Princeton and Paris. With a victory, NL could clinch the 3rd place spot in district. The girls struck early with a goal by Jaycie Proctor just six minutes into the match. Maci Pointer had the assist. Six minutes later, Pointer scored her first goal of the night off the assist from Kenley Coston to give the Pantherettes a 2-0 lead. 

Adriana Evans extended the lead to 3-0, scoring with seven minutes left in the half. Coston would score one off the second assist by Pointer to give NL a 4-0 halftime lead. 

 Sadi English moves to block a pass by a Community player  

Sadi English moves to block a pass by a Community player  

Pointer would open up the 2nd half with a nice goal from the left side off an assist by Evans giving NL a 5-0 lead. Pointer added her third goal of the night less than two minutes later, beating the defender down the left side and placing a perfect kick into the corner of the net. This put the Pantherettes up 6-0 with Pointer achieving a hat trick for the night. Abbie Fischer added another goal, sealing the 7-0 victory for NL. 

The boys squad came in to the night with a 1-5 district record. The Panthers have competed well but struggle to finish games as two of their five losses have come in games where they had a lead. 

NL opened play with a furious offensive attack. Multiple scoring opportunities in the 1st came up short until Keaton High was able to put a shot in the net to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead that would hold up until halftime. 

 Grant Sulsar fights to take a shot on goal

Grant Sulsar fights to take a shot on goal

Community opened the 2nd with the same offensive intensity that they had for the end of the 1st half, but Nick Kear’s play in goal was outstanding. The Braves finally scored when a shot bounced of Kear, taking an odd roll towards the goal that he was unable to cover before it crossed the line. The 1-1 score would hold through the end of regulation play. 

Facing their second shootout in district play, NL scored 4 goals on 5 shots to finish the 1st round tied 4-4. Community made their first shot of the sudden-death round while NL’s shot would bounce off the goal post giving Community the win 1-1(5-4).  

Both squads will face Bonham in another home doubleheader this Friday as NL closes out district play. It will be senior night for the Panthers and Pantherettes. The Pantherettes have clinched 3rd place in district play and will be able to use this game as a warmup for next week’s bi-district playoff. The Panthers are in a “win and your in” situation, needing to defeat Bonham outright to secure a playoff spot.  

The girls open the action at 5:30 with the boys game to follow at 7:00. Come out and support NL soccer this Friday night!