Panthers show no mercy in 27-1 victory


Shelby Foster

Two Panther defenders collapse on a Fayette county player. The Panthers’ held possession most of the game, but when they didn’t have the ball, they forced many turnovers.

Rilee Stapleton, Staff Writer

The Starr’s Mill Lady Panthers lacrosse team has started hot. Neither of their first two games were close, and the same trend continued against area opponent Fayette County on March 9. After crushing Northgate and Whitewater by scores of 22-7 and 17-2, Starr’s Mill retained their unblemished record with a 27-1 shellacking of the Tigers.

“I feel very good about this group,” head coach Mary Lehman said. “I knew a little bit about what I was getting myself into, [but] I’ve enjoyed watching these girls succeed.”

It’s not often every player on a varsity lacrosse team scores a goal in one game, but the Panthers accomplished that feat with 18 different players scoring in the win against the Tigers. Freshman Ryanne King and junior Caroline Broderick led the offensive surge with four goals each. Junior Sara Hensley assisted on three goals and scored one of her own.

The lone highlight for the Lady Tigers came when junior Trinity Brown scooped up a loose ball and went the length of the field to score Fayette County’s only goal of the match.

Shelby Foster
A Panther player observes the field during the area matchup. Eighteen different players scored in the Panthers’ 26-point win against Fayette County.

“Our girls do a very good job of keeping possession of the ball,” Lehman said. “We also do a very good job of avoiding common penalties.”

It only took 45 seconds for the Lady Panthers to score their first goal. Sophomore Ansley Wallace faked out the Tiger goalie for an easy score with 24:15 on the clock. One minute later, King scored her first goal to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead early on. Over the next three minutes the Panthers scored five more times to take a 7-0 lead with 20 minutes left in the first half.

With 19 minutes until the break, Brown scored to bring the game to 8-1, but the Panthers revolted with three more goals. The clock continued to drain and the Panthers continued to score. Five minutes before halftime, senior Shelby Zellen scored back-to-back goals and the Panthers led Fayette County 17-1. Two more goals were scored in the last four minutes, and the Panthers led 19-1 at halftime.

“[Our players] are great in transition,” Lehman said. “Especially after turnovers and getting down the field fast.”

Senior Carly Gainey opened the second half scoring with her first goal of the night, and sophomore Caroline Andrews followed up with another goal soon after. With a 21-1 lead, the Panthers drained the clock before attacking again. Senior Ivey Pearson broke the peace, scoring her first goal with 14 minutes left.

The Panthers never seemed to slow down and the scoring kept coming until the Panthers had a 27-1 lead. They passed the ball around for the remaining four minutes and the game ended in a one-sided fashion.

“Most of our region games are in Henry County and those are some new programs,” Lehman said. “But they all have key players and can present some challenges but our girls proved they can handle themselves.”

The win improved the Panthers’ record to 3-0 on the season. Since the victory, the Panthers played Woodland, and the Wolfpack suffered a 29-2 loss. Next up on the schedule is Mt. de Sales Academy. The Cavaliers are 0-3, but look to add a win to their record. However, the 4-0 Panthers don’t show any signs of slowing down. The matchup is on March 17, at Mt. de Sales, with the opening faceoff at 7:15 p.m.