In spite of great effort, Panthers fall to Shaw

Published 11:23 pm Wednesday, February 13, 2019

AMERICUS – The Americus-Sumter boys’ varsity soccer team played an extremely hard and competitive match against a strong Shaw side, but the Raiders were able to score five goals and defeated the Panthers 5-0 on Wednesday, February 13, at Alton Shell Stadium on the campus of Americus-Sumter High School (ASHS).

One other factor in this game was that the Panthers were shorthanded. However, ASHS head coach Felix Jimenez was extremely proud of the effort that his team gave.

“We worked very hard during the week, but I had several players that weren’t able to play today,” Jimenez said. “I was supposed to have more players today, but unfortunately they weren’t able to play. We had to work with the limited resources that we had. I’m really proud of them. They did a great job. The result was much better than last year.”

A year ago, The Raiders routed the Panthers 11-1 in Columbus.

Americus-Sumter forward Nedd Montavious dribbled towards goal.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

For much of the first half, the Raiders controlled most of the possession and had numerous chances to score. However, the Panther defense was able to keep SHS off the scoreboard. ASHS goalkeeper A.J. Rodriguez came up with some big saves in the first half.

Unfortunately, the Raiders broke through just before halftime when they earned a free kick due to a foul on the Panthers. Cesar Deanda sent the ball off the crossbar, but Elmer Vasquez was there to get the rebound and blasted it into the net to give the Raiders a 1-0 lead at the half.

ASHS midfielder Cory Belcher (28) shields the ball away from a Shaw defender.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

It was a very physical game, especially in the second half. Yellow cards were issued to players on both teams. The Raiders continued to control much of the run of play, which limited the Panthers’ opportunities to score. Then the Raiders began to add to their lead. With less than 30 minutes left in the match, Deanda scored to give the Raiders a 2-0 lead. About seven minutes later, Deanda scored his second goal of the match to give SHS a 3-0 lead. Agud Perez then scored to make it 4-0.

The best chance for ASHS to score came from Nedd Montavious. Montavious dribbled the ball towards goal and took a shot, but it went right to the Raiders’ goalkeeper.

SHS then scored their last goal of the game in the closing minutes when Julien Perez scored to complete the 5-0 win.