The NL Pantherettes faced the Terrell Lady Tigers in a Bi-District playoff match on Friday night. NL came in having placed 3rd in district 11-4A while Terrell finished second behind Mabank in district 12-4A.
The Pantherettes looked tentative in the first half as Terrell moved the ball in a clinical fashion on offense, scoring three first half goals. NL came out in the 2nd half much more focused and aggressive with the ball. The Pantherettes had scoring opportunities but failed to convert. After giving up a 4th goal to Terrell, you could feel the minutes running out on NL’s season.
The hardest part of high school athletics is that you really don’t know when you are playing the last game of the season. The exceptions are if you are out of playoff contention by your last regular season game or you are playing for a state championship. Added to this is the finality for your seniors...many of whom will never play organized soccer again. Walking off that field after a loss can be a tough thing to deal with.
I’ve had the distinct privilege of covering NL Soccer for the past 4 seasons. I was at the Area game in 2015 when the Pantherettes won the first, and only, soccer playoff match of NL’s program history. I have the ultimate respect for these ladies, these student-athletes, that play one of the purest team sports in high school athletics.
NL lost the match 4-0 and ended their 2018 season. For seniors Nely Torres, Ashton Henderson, Hylan Gabeline, Adrianna Evans, Anai Chavez, Kylea Basden, Tiffany Allen and Kenzie Proctor it was the last time to walk off the field as part of NL Soccer. But these ladies can hold their head high as they never gave up through this season or this final game.