Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local Sports

April 4, 2012

Panthers split soccer matches with Crisp

AMERICUS — The Americus-Sumter Panthers and Lady Panthers took on the visiting Crisp County Cougars on Tuesday night and they were able to earn a split in the guys-girls doubleheader. The Cougars had two tough squads, and after the Lady Panthers lost a close and intense match 3-0, the Panthers crushed the visiting Cougars 7-1 in dominating fashion.

The Lady Panthers went down early and they were unable to dig out of the early 1-0 hole that the Lady Cougars created. Despite a barrage of shots on goal, the Lady Panthers were not able to find the back of the net, and they surrendered a 3-0 match to the Lady Cougars.

Senior Antoinette Stephens barely lost a race to the ball to the Lady Cougars’ keeper in the final five minutes of the game. Had Stephens beaten the keeper to the ball and scored, the Lady Panthers would have only trailed 2-1 with a chance to win the contest in the end.

Unfortunately, the Lady Cougars would capitalize on the Lady Panthers’ near miss. The girls from Crisp County stormed down the field and put the finishing touch on the game with a goal in the last minute to make the score 3-0 and seal the match.

In the guys’ game, the Panthers got an early goal from Edin Ancelmo. Ancelmo scored three minutes into the game, and the early goal would be far from the last goal for the Panthers on the night.

Tylen Pepito, who had a huge night for the Panthers, found the back of the net next for the Americus-Sumter Panthers. Pepito had an acrobatic shot on goal that surprised even the Crisp County keeper as he put his team up 2-0 in the early stages of the contest.

The next goal would come from the foot of Nestor Lepiz. Lepiz would score on a penalty kick to put the Panthers up 3-0 put the Cougars even further from contention.

The last goal of the half would again come from Pepito, as he beat the keeper from Crisp County on a frantic race tot he ball. Pepito and the keeper arrived at the ball at almost the same time, but Pepito was able to sneak an impressive shot around the keeper to find the wide open goal and put his team up 4-0 just before the half time break.

Less than one minute into the second half, Crisp would get their first goal of the night as the Cougars were looking to make a comeback against their close region foe. The Panthers were not about to let that happen, however, as they would score three more goals in the second half following the Crisp goal to earn the 7-1 match win.

After Ancelmo was fouled in the box, the lone senior on the team, Edson Rodriguez found the back of the net on a penalty kick to put his Panthers up 5-1.

The Panthers then added another goal as their offensive persistency paid off in a tough fight for the ball. Following a shot form the Panthers, the ball then ricocheted off of Ancelmo and a Crisp player before junior Rhyan Smith would put the ball in the back of the net to give the Panthers a 6-1 lead.

With a little less than five minutes left, Lepiz would put the cherry on top of the Panthers big victory. Lepiz hit a long line drive goal from the outer edge of the box that was perfectly place over the keeper’s reach. Lepiz’s second goal of the night gave the Panthers a 7-1 lead, and the tough defense from the Panthers would keep the score at 7-1 until the end.

The win kept the Panthers very much alive in their hunt for their first ever region title. The Panthers and Lady Panthers will have two non-region away matches at Lee County and Valdosta before returning home to take on Westover at 5:30 and 7:30 on Monday, April 16.

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