Wooden’s goal gives Lady Panthers victory over Dougherty

Published 11:08 am Wednesday, April 4, 2018

AMERICUS – Americus-Sumter junior forward Kritstin Wooden scored a goal off an indirect kick late in the waning minutes of the game to give the Lady Panthers a 1-0 victory over Dougherty Tuesday afternoon, April 3, at Alton Shell Stadium.

One of the Dougherty defenders passed the ball back to her goalkeeper, Kaitlyn McGee, who picked the ball up. In FIFA rules, the goalkeeper is not allowed to pick the ball up with her hands on a pass from a teammate. As a result, the referee awarded Americus-Sumter an indirect kick just outside the 18-yard box on the right-hand side, which was almost like a penalty kick, except at an angle. An Americus-Sumter player touched the ball, and Kristin Wooden was free to take the kick. However, McGee went to argue with the referee. While that was happening, Wooden took the kick, McGee scramble back to try to save the shot, but the ball had already gone past her and into the net to give the Lady Panthers the 1-0 lead.

“One person touched and I went to kick it,” Wooden said. “The goalie was asking questions wondering if it was in play, and when she was on her way to run back, I kicked it in.”

Wooden was very pleased with how her and her teammates played against Dougherty. “We stuck together. We played better than we’ve played against a lot of other teams. I think we did a lot better with passing and teamwork as far as our game is concerned.”

Americus-Sumter Head Coach Dr. Joseph Oyeniya was really proud of the way his team played, and is hopeful that this win will boost the confidence of his team and lead to better things. “We have most of our players now, and they came in and they played well even though they didn’t have enough practice,” Oyeniya said. The team has been short-handed for much of the season due to injuries. “We have a full team now. I’m hoping that they will carry this on, now that they see what they can do,” Oyeniya said. “If they listen to instruction, they see what they can do, and they listened today, and you see that the difference was fantastic, so I hope we can go on like that. Then we can go higher than where we are now.”

In the late stages of the game, Dougherty had a chance to tie the game. Dougherty forward Jessemina Smith got behind the ASH defense and had only goalkeeper Julie Soto to beat, but Smith’s shot was right at Soto, who made the save.

Chayce Pottinger with the ball for Americus-Sumter.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

In the first half, Americus-Sumter had most of the possession and the run-of-play. They had several chances to score. With 4:30 left in the first half, ASH forward Chayce Pottinger got buy the Dougherty defense and took a shot, but it was over the crossbar.

A couple of minutes later, Kristin Wooden that was pushed over the crossbar by McGee.

Dougherty also had chances to score in the match. Marissa Duncan got behind the ASH defense, with only goalkeeper Julie Soto to beat. However, Duncan’s shot went wide left.

In the second half, the Lady Panthers resumed their dominance on ball possession and controlled most of the run-of-play. They continued to put pressure on the Lady Trojans’ back line. Americus-Sumter’s Chayce Pottinger took another shot on goal, but it was right at McGee for the save.

Nearing the 20-minute mark of the second half, Dougherty began to exact pressure on Americus-Sumter. With 15 minutes to play, the Lady Trojans had another chance to score. Marissa Duncan got behind the ASH defense and had only ASH Keeper Julie Soto to beat. However, Duncan couldn’t capitalize as her shot was right at Soto for the save. With under seven minutes to play, ASH had a chance to take the lead when Yolanda Stevens took a shot, but it hit the left post. Both teams had other chances to score, but it was Wooden’s goal on the indirect kick that made the difference.

In spite of the loss, Dougherty Head Coach Kathia Collins was pleased with how her team played. “I was very proud of my girls. They played very hard and they did everything they were suppose to do,” Collins said. “They dribbled the ball accordingly. The only thing I was upset about basically was the last part at the end.”

The Lady Panthers will have a week to improve on their skills and work out any kinks before they head to Crisp County on Tuesday, April 10. Kick-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.