ASHS soccer opens streak, climbs to 7-3 on 2016 season
Published 12:32 pm Friday, April 1, 2016
From STAFF REPORTS
The Americus-Sumter High School (ASHS) boys’ soccer team has been cataloguing solid performances on the pitch over the last few weeks, amassing an overall record of 7-3 and a region record of 4-1, following a series of victories over Dougherty County, Albany, and Dooly County, among others as they prepare their team to make a bid for the region tournament.
The Panthers faced Dougherty County on March 8 in Albany, defeating their hosts 3-0 in the contest.
ASHS scored two goals in the first half and rounded out their final score with another in the second half.
According to Panther head soccer coach, Greg Fowler, “Our defense and keeping was very solid again. We look forward to building on that.”
ASHS’ Jonathan Abarca scored the match’s first goal on a corner kick, followed by another from Frankie Gonzalez, who booted a shot into the back of the net from well outside the 18-yard box.
Abarca added the team’s third goal in the second half.
Following this victory, ASHS traveled to Sylvester to defend their record against the Worth County Rams on March 11.
Worth scored four goals in the first half of the match to give the home team an early advantage that they carefully guarded, eventually sentencing he visiting Panthers to a 7-1 defeat.
Abarca scored the Panthers’ lone goal in the second half of the match.
Following the defeat, the Panthers picked themselves up began preparations to take on the Westover Patriots on March 15 in Americus.
The ASHS boys went on to grab a 4-1 victory in the home match.
The next afternoon, the Panthers traveled to Albany to take on long-time rivals, the Albany High School Indians, eventually pulling in a 3-2 win.
The Indians pulled ahead 2-0 early in the first half of the match-up, as the Panthers remained weary from the previous afternoon’s battle.
With one minute left in the first half, ASHS freshman, Rosendo Gonzalez, ignited the ASHS team into action with his first goal of the season.
This goal, along with some adjustments at half, seemed to give the Panthers the boost they needed to kick their efforts into high gear.
R. Gonzalez kept up the momentum in the second half, booting in another shot to equalize the score. From there, both teams tightened up their defenses, refusing to let any shooters get into scoring position and the score remained tied at the end of regulation play.
Two five-minute overtime periods didn’t yield any results either, and it was determined that the match would be decided by a shoot-out.
Abarca and Jose Ovando each hit the mark for the Panthers in the first two rounds of the shoot-out, putting the ASHS boys ahead. An Albany shooter added a goal for the Indians in the third round and ASHS’ Arize Anagbogu put the game away in the fourth round with another goal.
On the Panthers’ 3-2 victory, Fowler stated, “Our keeper, Alex Rodriguez, played a great game. He had a shaky first half, but recovered pretty well. The fact that he stopped the first two kicks in the shoot-out really gave our team confidence and allowed us to relax a little.”
The Panthers went on to earn yet another victory on their home field on March 22, taking an 8-3 victory over Dooly County.
F. Gonzalez led the team to victory, contributing five goals and one assist in the match. Abarca followed close behind with three goals and three assists.
David Ovando and keeper, David Pepito, each contributed one assist.
The Panthers were scheduled to travel to Thomasville to face region foes, the Thomas County Central Yellowjackets, on March 25. The results of this contest were not available at press time.
The Panthers will then take a short break before returning to the pitch in Americus on April 5 to battle another region opponent, the Crisp County Cougars.