The Lady Panthers soccer team lost their home regional playoff game to the number 5 ranked Fort Wayne Canterbury Cavaliers 7-0 Saturday night. A strong, steady rain fell much of Saturday leading up to the game, and although the rain let up, the Panthers endured a barrage of offense from the Cavaliers that must have felt like a steady rain falling on their heads.
Playing without a few key players due to injury and having only 15 players available, the Panthers kept the game close in the first half. Their strategy was to keep their fastest players on defense to try to keep the Cavaliers from scoring. With Sierra Singer helping the defense, they went into halftime giving up only a pair of goals. Despite playing one of their best offensive players on defense, Jordan Trout and Meghan Freer combined to create a few scoring chances in the first half. They could not find the back of the net, however, and trailed the Cavaliers 2-0 at halftime.
In the second half, the Cavaliers’ size, speed and depth proved to be too much for the undermanned Panthers. With the Panthers down 3-0 in the second half, they moved Singer to offense to try to create more scoring chances. However, they still could not find the back of the net, and with the Panthers’ speed shifted to the offense, the Cavaliers broke through with 4 more goals, the last one scoring with only 7 seconds left.
Despite the 7 goals given up, goalie Libby Sykes made several great saves to keep the Cavaliers from scoring even more. Sykes had 11 saves on the night.
The Cavaliers improved to 9-6-1 and will move on to Semi-State where they will play Wheeler.
The Panthers had a great season, earning the right to play this game with a 2-1 win over Blackford, their second sectional title in a row. They ended their season with a 13-4 record. They will graduate 6 seniors from this year’s team: Meghan Freer, Elizabeth Maki, Lauren Rush, Sierra Singer, Libby Sykes, and Katelynn Ziegler.
Congratulations to the Lady Panthers on a fantastic season!