by Carolyn Rumpel
The Panthers came out to face a tough East Coweta (EC) team last Thursday (3/23). Just eight minutes into the game, with a leading pass from Anna Parker, Chloe Thompson started the Panthers off strong putting the ball in the center of the net just to the left, and out of reach, of the EC goalie. After the early goal, the Indians stepped up their game and kept our defense and goalkeeper, Zoey Stellman, busy. The Panther defense (Mary Jane Gagliano, Emma Valli, Jacquline Reardon, and Alivia Sapienza) worked hard against the offensively aggressive EC team. Zoey Stellman had nine stops in the first half including two direct kicks by EC. Offensively, the Panthers had several other opportunities to score from both Sara Evans as well as a perfectly placed corner kick by Noodle (Katelyn O'Shields) to Ali Rumpel for the shot, but the EC keeper wouldn’t let one by her. With 3:47 left on the clock, EC ripped a shot that Zoe deflected, EC shot again and Zoe had yet another amazing stop, but the Indians took advantage of the loose ball and followed up with a goal bringing the half time score to 1-1.
East Coweta came out strong in the second half with a quick shot on goal within the first couple of minutes, but Zoe continued her great work in goal with a stop. The Panthers answered with three back-to-back attempts on goal by Chloe Thompson, Ali Rumpel and Lexi Edwards. The Indians took notice and, with 21:52 left on the clock, put one away to bring the score to 1-2. With several scoring opportunities including a direct kick by Noodle, a shot by Chloe Thompson, and a shot by Anna Parker that the EC goalie fumbled, the Panthers couldn’t get a second shot to fall. Although the Panthers fought hard both on offense and defense, putting up a great fight against a strong East Coweta team, they walked away, heads held high, with only their second loss this season.
The season wraps up with a big battle against McIntosh at 5:55 PM Tuesday, March 28, 2017. Show your support at McIntosh High School during “Battle for the Troops” week and cheer on the Panthers in the final match of their outstanding season!