Lady Panthers’ soccer team gets overwhelmed by Fitzgerald

Published 4:30 pm Wednesday, February 15, 2023

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AMERICUS – After blowing out Monroe 11-1 a week ago, the Sumter County Varsity Girls’ Soccer Team (SCHS) faced a much tougher opponent in the Purple Hurricanes of Fitzgerald (3-0-1): the top team in Region 1-AA and a team that reached the state semifinals of the GHSA Class AA State Tournament a year ago. Many of the members from that squad are back this year and they showed SCHS why they made it that far by drubbing the Lady Panthers 10-0 Tuesday afternoon, February 14, at Alton Shell Stadium.

In spite of the loss, SCHS Head Coach Samantha Chadd did see some positive things from her club.

“We definitely improved on our passing a little bit,” Chadd said. “We did get a couple of shots off. My goal for this game was for us to work hard, work as a team and try our best. I didn’t care if we walked out with a win. I just wanted the girls to try their best.

The Lady Panthers are now 2-1 overall on the season and 0-1 in Region 1-AA competition.

The Purple Hurricanes did not waist much time going to work on the Lady Panthers. Four minutes into the first half, Sarah Beth Wilson scored to give FHS a 1-0 lead. Two minutes later, SCHS was whistled for a foul inside the 18-yard box and FHS was awarded a penalty kick. Phoebe Prescott converted the PK and the Purple Hurricanes had a 2-0 lead.

Not even a minute later, Amy Rojo scored to make it 3-0 FHS and Prescott would score her second goal of the match shortly thereafter to make it 4-0.

Sumter County sophomore midfielder Ebelin Chavez tries to advance the ball down the field for the Lady Panthers.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

Then in the 22nd minute, the Purple Hurricanes took a 5-0 lead on a goal from Mia Lucky and Lucky would score her second goal off an assist from Prescott shortly thereafter to make it 6-0 FHS.

Then with 9:01 to go before halftime, Caroline Cooper scored off a corner kick that went off the hands of SCHS goalkeeper Olivia Buckley. By halftime, the Panthers trailed 7-0.

Early in the second half, the Purple Hurricanes drew another penalty kick, but Buckley was able to save Alexa Martinez’s PK.

However, Yaresley Avila scored the Purple Hurricanes’ eighth goal of the match and

not even five seconds later, FHS got another goal when Rojo took a shot that glanced off an SCHS defender and went into the net. At this point, the Lady Panthers trailed 9-0.

The Lady Panthers were able to get a couple of shots on goal. One of those shots came off the foot of Malaysia Scott, but it was saved by FHS goalkeeper Caroline Spivey. Then with 11:02 to go in the match, the Purple Hurricanes ended the match when Martinez scored to give FHS the 10-0 mercy rule victory.

The Lady Panthers (2-1) will regroup and will try to earn their first Region 1-AA victory of the season when they travel down to Nashville, GA on Friday, February 17, to take on Berrien. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.