Chiefs control game early, seize region top seed


Katie Linkner

Junior Chief Annie O’Neill kicks the ball while senior Panther Rachel Davison slides to knock it away. The Battle of the Bubble game was full of aggression, and McIntosh held the ball for the majority of the game. The Lady Panthers switched up their line up, which led to some kinks in communication and mishandling of the ball.

Jenna Sanders, Sports Editor

The Lady Panther soccer team faced off against city rival McIntosh in the Battle for the Troops, but it was McIntosh who raised the victory flag 6-1. The rivalry game showed much aggression, and both teams were communicating loudly. However, the Chief communication was more effective.

The aggressive game helped the Panthers score their one goal after McIntosh keeper knocked over sophomore Sara Evans allowing junior Chloe Spradlin to take a penalty kick. However, the aggression also hurt the Mill with sophomore keeper Jacqueline Reardon being left on the ground in the 55th minute with a concussion.

“We let them take control really quick,” sophomore Sofia Varmeziar said. “Right after they scored, they just took control of the game and we let them.”

The game started with instant speed, with both teams attempting to make deep runs on offense. The Lady Chiefs were successful early in the first half with senior Tariah Miller scoring in the first five minutes of the game. Starr’s Mill struggled to communicate with the two main leaders, Spradlin and senior Rachel Davison, both heading up the back line. This miscommunication allowed for McIntosh to keep control of the ball the majority of the first half.

The second goal for the Chiefs was scored by junior Galbraith Katelyn in the 16th minute, launching the ball past Reardon from within the box. To end the half, Lady Chief freshman Carrie Consolino scored in the 33rd minute. Reardon came out of the goal to block an attempted shot, which left the goal wide open for Consolino, sending the game into the half with a score of 3-0 favoring the Chiefs.

“Once one thing happened,” Spradlin said. “It kind of became a domino effect. The first goal happened, instead of being like ‘Keep going’, it was ‘Oh my God, we’re one nothing down.’”

Katie Linkner
Junior Chloe Spradlin kicks a PK. Spradlin scored the only goal for the Mill off of the PK. The Lady Panthers lost to crosstown opponent McIntosh 6-1. Starr’s Mill falls to the No. 2 seed of the 3-AAAAA region, with McIntosh taking the No. 1 seed.

The second half started off with the same intensity as the first half, but the speed had significantly decreased. The first goal of the half was scored in the 48th minute, which was scored by Spradlin off of a PK. The Panthers were unable to keep up the tempo that led them to getting Evans into the box.

McIntosh took advantage and scored in the 55th minute, with the goal that left Reardon on the ground. This goal was Consolino’s second, and the Lady Chiefs’ fourth. Senior keeper Abby Weaver came in to replace Reardon after she was pulled from the game.

McIntosh scored their fifth goal only a few minutes after Weaver was put in the game. Weaver dove for the ball but missed, allowing freshman Bailey Wagenknecht to score. The last goal of the night was scored in the 72nd minute from just inside the box. This goal sent the game to a 6-1 victory for the Lady Chiefs.

“We just didn’t react well when things went bad,” head coach John Bowen said. “Anytime you’re playing McIntosh, it’s going to be a struggle, it’s going to be a fight. It just took us awhile, it took us until the second half to really decide to let’s play.”

The Battle of the Bubble game for the girls team was a contest for the No. 1 seed in Region 3-AAAAA. McIntosh’s victory secured them as the No. 1 seed, and left Starr’s Mill as the No. 2 seed. The Lady Chief’s remain undefeated in the region, with a record of 5-0, and the Lady Panthers now have a region record of 4-1.

For the Starr’s Mill boys’ team, the result was just the opposite. Senior Noah Pavel scored the only goal in the game, giving the Panthers the win and the No. 1 seed.

Starr’s Mill plays its final home game of the regular season on April 15 against St. Pius X in a varsity double header starting at 6 p.m.