Wednesday, March 27, 2013

SPORTS STORY >> Cabot ladies crush Marion

Leader sportswriter

The Cabot Lady Panthers did not let the interruption of spring break interfere with their strong start to the 2013 soccer season with a blistering 10-0 rout against Marion on Monday. The road win lifted the Lady Panthers to 2-0 in 7A/6A East Conference play and 3-1-1 overall.

There was no shortage of scorers as eight different Cabot players put up points against the Lady Patriots, including two goals each for junior Jessica Souza and Maddie Rice. Braxton Reed, Hana Christensen, Heather Payne, Keeara Carter, McKenna Smart and Devin Patterson also sent the ball past Marion’s goalkeeper for scores in the lopsided affair.

“We possessed very well and weren’t sluggish at all after the break,” Lady Panthers coach Kerry Castillo said. “Some of our younger players showed some signs of brilliance like Hana Christensen. She’s so athletic and can control the ball on the first touch whether it’s in the air or on the ground.”

While a dominating offensive attack lit up the scoreboard for Cabot, Castillo was also pleased with his team’s defensive performance.

“Tabby Owens controlled our pace in the midfield,” Castillo said. “And our backline of Melody Sampson, Kristen Oitker, Devin Patterson and Codee Park stifled any attacks and were also very active in our possession.”

Defense has been the Lady Panthers’ calling card in the early season, as the win over Marion marked the third shutout for Cabot through five games. It all started with a 5-0 shutout over West Plains, Mo. before a 0-0 tie in regulation against Siloam Springs resulted in a 5-4 loss in the penalty-kick period. The Lady Panthers then tied Sheridan 1-1 in their final nonconference matchup, and headed into spring break with a 1-0 7A/6A East victory over North Little Rock.

Owens and Sydney Farqu-harson each scored two goals in the win over West Plains with another goal by Reed. Park was the only scorer for Cabot in the tie against Sheridan and victory over North Little Rock.

“I can’t say enough about our defenders and keeper,” Castillo said. “We played four games the last week before spring break and only allowed one goal, in which we were playing without one of our fullbacks. We’ll face a much tougher opponent in Little Rock Central later on this week.”

Cabot will host the Lady Tigers at Panther Stadium on Thursday as part of a girls’ and boys’ varsity doubleheader starting at 5 p.m.