WEST ALEXANDRIA — After a 5-1 win over visiting Middletwn Christian on Tuesday, Oct. 20, the Twin Valley South girls soccer season came to an end with a 5-2 loss at Lehman Catholic on Saturday, Oct. 24.
In South’s game against the Middletown Christian Eagles, dominant possession and creative scoring opportunities led the Panthers to a 5-1 win.
After some close goals in the early minutes, South junior Makiah Newport collected a pass from senior Taylor Clark in front of the goal and buried it into the net to give South a 1-0 lead at 28:45.
Just over a minute later, after regaining possession following a South shot attempt going of Middletown Christian’s crossbar, South freshman Rylee Ray passed to sophomore Amelia Wharton who crossed the ball past the Eagles’ goalie for the 2-0 lead at 27:30.
However, just 37 seconds later, Middletown Christian responded with a goal to make it 2-1.
The Panthers continued to dominate possession throughout the first half, with most of their time being spent on Middletown’s half of the field and South’s goalie, senior Abby Utsinger, seeing very little action.
South junior Madi Hundley would find the goal once more for the Panthers, delivering a strike above Middletown Christian’s goalie to the left side of the net, making it 3-1 at 20:56, and the score would stand going into the second half.
“Amelia [Wharton], Makiah Newport and Madison Hundley, they can put together the best combinations in the area, quite frankly,” South assistant coach Chad Newport said. “They’ve been our top three scorers all year. They’ve played a lot of soccer to get to this point, so they’re pretty good at it.”
Coming out of the half, Newport worked herself ahead of Middletown Christian’s defenders and got one-on-one with the Eagles’ goalie, where she was able to sneak the ball past for another goal at 32:54, making it 4-1.
At 26:47, Hundley passed to Wharton who added a consolation goal for South.
Though the remainder of the game was scoreless, it wasn’t due to a lack of trying, as the Panthers continued to dominate possession and pepper Middletown Christian’s goal until the final horn sounded.
“That’s what we’ve been working for since day one when we started this back in June. Possess,” Newport said. “Wear teams out, run them in the ground, you know, just try to get them to chase the entire game. It kind of worked a little bit tonight, but the gooey weather – you know, it was a good send off for our seniors.”
Regarding the senior class for the Panthers – including captains Allison Bassler and Kailee Burkett, Jasie Sarver, Clark and Utsinger – Newport said that two consecutive 11 wins seasons showed they put in work and made sacrifices.
“They’ve changed positions, they’ve done different things, ultimately to help the team. That’s a tribute to them and what their character is,” he said. “Most kids would be like, ‘I’m not doing that, I’m not doing this,’ but they wanted the team to be the best, so the seniors made the sacrifice for the most part..
With the win against Middletown Christian and the loss to Lehman Catholic, the Panthers finish their season with an 11-6 record overall.
Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles