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Lady Panthers win in overtime shootout 3-1
The Lady Panthers and coach Jarvis MacArthur posed for the camera after their double overtime, penalty kick shootout victory over South Effingham Friday night. - photo by By Patty Leon / Coastal Courier
The Liberty County Lady Panthers are holding their breath in anticipation as they wait to hear whether their win on Friday over the South Effingham Mustangs was enough to get them in the playoffs. They needed the win to get in, but it may come down to goal differentials. They may have to wait until after spring break.
If the Lady Panthers make it to the playoffs it will be the first time in possibly eight years they make the first round, according to the players and head coach Jarvis MacArthur.
It was a tough season of wins and losses for the Lady Panthers. Especially this past week when the Lady Panthers went to play St. Vincent's on Tuesday afternoon.
"We lost 0-7 against St. Vincent's," MacArthur said. "But it was a big improvement after losing 0-15 at home. They led 0-5 at halftime. Our defense and spectacular play from our goalkeeper Metra Walthour shut them down for the first 30 minutes of the second half. Then we had to stop play due to lightning, sat on the bus for 20 minutes, then we came out flat and they scored two goals in the last 10 minutes. But overall, it was a good performance against one of the best teams in the state."
Knowing they needed to win for a chance at post-season play the Lady Panthers took a quick lead over the Lady Mustangs closing the half at 1-0 Friday night. Sensing the urgency the Lady Mustangs wasted no time in tying the score 5 minutes into the second half. The Mustangs continued to pressure the Lady Panthers, but the defensive plays of Elyssa Lemapu, Alicia Torres, Anitrea Payne, Jeanna Roundtree and goalkeeper Walthour kept the Lady Mustangs from scoring again and forced the first of two overtimes. When the teams failed to score, it came down to a penalty kick shootout.
Asked if she was ready Walthour said, "Yeah, I got this."
She had six saves in the second half and later blocked every shot during the shootout.
Diana Jimenez shot the first penalty kick passed the Mustang's goalie, followed by Lemapu. This gave the Lady Panthers a 3-1 victory.
Ecstatic, the Lady Panthers began cheering and jumping, the realization that they may be in the post season was apparent in their faces.
But MacArthur was quick to remind them they have to wait.
"I think we are in," he said to the girls. "But we have to wait and see."
If the Lady Panthers grab the number four spot, it means they face the most difficult challenge. St. Vincent's is currently ranked number one in the 3-AAA region. The Lady Panthers may have to prepare in taking them on one more time. Hopefully with a better outcome.

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