JV soccer season ends with McIntosh matchup


Aelise Gagliano

With three goals on the evening, the Panthers saw their scoreline bolstered by two eighth graders. Although the young team saw some success on offense, the girls fell to the more experienced and older McIntosh side in a back and forth game.

John Webb, Staff Writer

The JV soccer season came to an end on March 28 with a double header at McIntosh. The girls’ record sat at 8-2-0 heading into their final game, having lost to McIntosh early in the season as well as East Coweta in the previous game. Their first meeting of the double header with McIntosh was at Starr’s Mill and saw the Chiefs maintain control of the game throughout the 70 minutes. This game ended in a 5-2 loss for the Lady Panthers.

In the second and final meeting between the two region rivals, it did not take long for the game to produce its first goal. With the McIntosh girls slotting it away in less than ten minutes, the pressure went to the Lady Panthers. In a half that saw the Chiefs in control of the ball, Starr’s Mill could not mount any offense with the exception of an early equalizer that made the game 1-1. McIntosh scored two more goals to close out the half and head into the break with a commanding 3-1 lead.

“At half, we really emphasized stepping to the ball faster and giving them less room to work,” sophomore captain Katelyn O’Shields said.

Aelise Gagliano
The story of the second half for the Panthers was their impressive goalkeeping. The girls held the Chiefs to only two goals in the second half, and even blocked a penalty kick.

As the second half kicked off, the momentum of the game stayed on the side of the Chiefs. After 20 minutes of heavy possession for McIntosh, the Panthers pieced together a quick counter attack that resulted in a goal for eighth grader Sara Evans and brought the game within one for the Panthers. Just two minutes later, the Panthers scored another goal. Eighth grader Chloe Thompson, who had two goals on the day, tied the game at 3-3.

After the equalizer, the Panthers gained momentum and had possession in the attack zone for much of the remaining half, and although Starr’s Mill’s keeper eighth grader Zoey Stellman stopped a McIntosh penalty shot, the Lady Chiefs would regain control of the game by scoring two more goals. The game ended with McIntosh on top 5-3. The loss dropped the team’s final record to 8-3-0.

“I feel like the season went well overall,” O’Shields said. “We gave McIntosh a close game both times, but little mistakes ended up costing us.”

The boys’ JV team had an exciting season that saw a young roster produce a record to be proud of. Prior to their final game, the team was 9-3 and one of their three losses came from their previous meeting at McIntosh with a scoreline of 6-1.

The first half of the boys’ game saw an inspired performance from both teams. Neither team held substantial possession and the game went back and forth with no real leader in momentum. The half closed in a 0-0 tie.

“At half, we talked about how we needed to stay mentally tough and not let the emotions of the rivalry game allow us to make any mistakes,” junior Roman Castillo said. “We also talked about closing the gap between the midfield and the defense which was playing a higher line.”

Just moments after the second half began, the Chiefs pieced together a quick run and scored less than a minute into the half. After just under ten minutes into the half, the Panthers scored the equalizer and from this point on no team had a real edge. The scoreline remained the same through the remainder of the 70 minutes.

Although the boys season ended in a tie, their coach was still proud of their effort throughout the year.

“I like their commitment to the team concept,” head coach Aaron Buck said. “They showed up and worked hard every day.”

Both the boys and girls JV teams won at least twice the games they lost, and both teams also saw multiple players go through the ranks and reach the varsity level. With no postseason ahead, many of the team’s young players will be headed to play club soccer during the off-season.