The Liberty County Lady Panthers are starting to find their stride in the middle of the 2015 season. Playing the Lady Phoenix of New Hampstead, the new Chatham County high school near Pooler, the Lady Panthers unleashed an offensive barrage blanking New Hampstead, 6-0, on Tuesday.
Head coach Jarvis MacArthur praised the efforts of his team, deferring credit to his assistant coach, Marissa McCarthy, in her first year.
“Marissa has been making the girls understand the importance of ball possession and playing within the formations that help us to move the ball and score. She also has helped us get in better condition to play soccer,” MacArthur said.
Liberty got a pair of goals each from senior Cortney Welch, Jennifer Garcia and Sidney Wilkinson.
The Liberty’s boys’ team lost to New Hampstead, 5-2.
Hoping to build off the momentum of the New Hampstead win, Liberty hosted Calvary Day School for non-region match at Donell Woods Stadium on Thursday night.
After trailing 3-1 at halftime, the Lady Panthers roared back with three straight goals — the last from Wilkinson, her team-leading eighth goal of the season, off a free kick from 30 yards out — giving Liberty a 4-3 lead.
That was short-lived, though, as the Lady Cavaliers went on a rampage, tying the game in the last four minutes of the game and getting the game-winning goals with 90 seconds remaining.
“We played good. It was a tough game and we kept battling to the end, but Calvary was pretty athletic. I am still proud of the effort the girls gave,” MacArthur said.
Despite the loss, MacArthur said that his defenders played some of the best minutes of their careers.
“Tatiana White and seniors Jhanee O’Neal and Kayla Frazier played one of their best defensive games against Calvary as they have their whole time at LCHS,” MacArthur said.
The Lady Panthers dropped to 2-4 overall and 2-1 in Region 3-AAAA and will have an important region match with Wayne County on March 20.
The boys’ soccer team lost, 2-0, to Calvary. The Cavaliers scored both their goals in the first half. Liberty remained physical, matching Calvary defensively and taking shots on goal against the Cavaliers that just did not find the net.
Despite the Panthers’ 0-7 record, first-year head coach Kirsten Hill remains positive about the rest of the season and expects the team to get better.