Wednesday, March 15, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Panthers’ girls win a pair at Harrison

Leader sports editor

The Lady Panther soccer team avenged one of its two losses on Friday, and did so emphatically, defeating Fayetteville 4-0 in a round-robin tournament in Harrison.

The Lady Bulldogs had beaten a shorthanded Cabot 2-1 six days earlier at FHS, but head coach Kerry Castillo says his team played its best game of the year on Friday. 

“We put together a very complete game,” said Castillo. “In my opinion, it’s the best we’ve played so far. We’ve had some other games we’ve won handily, but the level of competition wasn’t what Fayetteville is. That’s a very quality win.”

The Lady Panthers (7-2) were supposed to play two games on Saturday, but the second was canceled due to wintry weather. Early in the day, however, Cabot picked up another quality win, beating 5A power Harrison 3-0. The third game was scheduled against Maumelle. The Lady Panthers opened the season with a benefit game against the Lady Hornets, playing just one half and outscoring them 5-0.

Against Fayetteville (6-1), freshman Kiley Dulaney got her first-career hat trick, scoring three of Cabot’s four goals. Sophomore Gracen Turner put the other goal into the net for Cabot. Junior leading scorer Tristyn Edgar assisted two of the goals while sophomores Caitlann Potter and Tatum Moore got the other assists.

“Our passing was great,” Castillo said. “Everyone played unselfishly with the goal of scoring in mind.”

Friday’s win came on the heels of a 1-0 shutout loss at Little Rock Christian Academy (6-0) on Wednesday. It was a match Castillo missed for personal reasons, but one he said he thinks helped the team’s overall chemistry.

“I didn’t watch the film on that before we went to Harrison, so I didn’t think it was fair of me to be judgmental when I wasn’t there,” Castillo said. “I just didn’t even talk about it. I actually think it brought out some of the intrinsic problems we have as far as communication and stuff like that, and we were able to focus on that. I think that had a more positive effect than if we had focused on what we did wrong on the field. Because the Harrison trip was really a great team effort.”

Against the Lady Goblins (1-2-2), Delaney, Edgar and senior Hadley Dickinson scored one goal each, with Grace Turner assisting two of the goals.

In the other two tournament games, Fayetteville beat Maumelle 1-0, while Maumelle (2-6) upset Harrison 3-2.

The Cabot boys have not played since last Monday, but the boys and girls hosted Catholic/Mount St. Mary on Tuesday in the 7A-Central Conference opener for both teams. Look for details of those games in Saturday’s edition of The Leader. 

The Cabot teams will travel to Fort Smith Southside to continue league play on Friday.