Friday, May 01, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Pitch Panthers get exact score in wins

Leader sportswriter

The Cabot boys’ and girls’ soccer teams each won their 7A-East Conference games against West Memphis on Tuesday at Panther Stadium, and both teams won by the final score of 6-0.

Though both Cabot coaches were pleased with the end result, neither was entirely pleased with how their teams played from start to finish.

“I didn’t think that we played with the kind of quality that we could,” said Cabot girls’ coach Kerry Castillo. “We had moments where we did.

“We were lackadaisical out of the gate, and rather than looking to possess the ball like we can, we were trying to play too direct. We were trying to put it (the ball) in behind them and be faster than them because we knew we were. Considering the quality of opponent, it made playing like that too easy.

“I can’t say that I’m not pleased. I mean, six to zero, how could you not be pleased? But, there are still some things to work on.”

Cabot boys’ coach Steve Porter echoed similar feelings about his team’s performance in the nightcap.

“Finishing and our intensity wasn’t where you’d like it to be, necessarily,” said Porter. “But having said that, if you’re going to have a night to have a bit of a letdown in performance level, then a 6-0 letdown isn’t so horrible, I guess, at the end of the day.”

It took the Panthers more than 11 minutes to score their first goal Tuesday, while the Lady Panthers scored their first goal just over three minutes into the game.

At the 36:54 mark of the first half, Maddie Rice scored the Lady Panthers’ first goal with a kick that landed in the lower left corner of the goal. At the 29:20 mark, Tristyn Edgar gave the Lady Panthers a 2-0 advantage with a goal from 13 yards away. Braxton Reed earned the assist on the play.

The same combination of Reed to Edgar, this one from 10 yards out, gave the Cabot girls a 3-0 lead with 26:41 left in the first half, and just over two minutes later, Reed scored Cabot’s fourth goal from five yards away. That time, Edgar got the assist.

By halftime, the Lady Panthers led 5-0. Leelee Denton scored the final goal of the half with 13:06 remaining, from about seven yards out.

In the second half, the sportsmanship rule was invoked less than three minutes in, at the 37:17 mark, the result of another Edgar to Reed scoring combination.

Reed’s second goal scored set the final margin of the girls’ game, and cut the clock time in half, from 37:17 to 18:38, and the bulk of Cabot’s starters sat the remainder of the game.

In the boys’ game, Cabot took a 1-0 lead at the 28:38 mark of the opening half on a goal by Luis Nascimento from about 12 yards out. The Panthers’ next goal came less than four minutes later on a 15-yard kick from Dylan Wagnon. Jesse Hidalgo picked up the assist on that scoring play, which gave Cabot a 2-0 lead in the 15th minute.

The Panthers scored two more goals before halftime to push their lead to 4-0 at the break. Abi Brown scored the first of those two, and Wagnon scored the second with 1:01 remaining. Like the CHS girls did, the CHS boys scored their first goal of the second half with 37:17 remaining.

Brown scored the goal from two yards away, with Kilian Oelrich getting the assist.

Brown’s second goal gave the Panthers a 5-0 lead. Porter sat a good portion of his starters after that, and the Panthers scored their final goal with 5:23 remaining, on a 12-yard boot from Somma Rodas in the middle of the field.

Though neither Cabot coach was entirely pleased with their team’s performance Tuesday, there were some positives each could take away.

“I was able to play a number of players,” Porter said. “I think four freshmen got on the field tonight, and a couple of them surprised me. They did pretty well. So that could be a positive. We were able to play a lot of players and give them some varsity game experience for next year.”

“The things that I was pleased with,” Castillo said, “there was a 10-minute span in the first half, between the 10th minute and the 20th minute, where we scored three goals and they were off really quick combinations.

“They were really fast passes – just one-, two-touch passes inside the 18 (yard line). That was the bright spot for me. We scored three like that, and actually had really good movement off the ball and executed on some combinations we had worked on this week in practice, and had some good finishes.”

The Cabot girls, who are now 7-5-2 overall, are currently second in the 7A-East behind Little Rock Central. The Central girls are unbeaten against 7A-East teams thus far with a 3-0 record, while the Lady Panthers are 2-1 in 7A-East play.

The Lady Blue Devils’ record dropped to 4-5-1 overall and 0-3 in 7A-East play with Tuesday’s loss.

The Cabot boys are currently sitting atop the conference standings. Their overall record improved to 11-1-2 with Tuesday’s win. The Panthers are 3-0 against 7A-East teams, and they’re the only team in the 7A/6A-East Conference without a league loss with a 5-0-2 record. The Blue Devils are still winless this season.