The Liberty County Panthers’ soccer teams closed out their regular seasons on Thursday, April 13 with a loss and a tie to crosstown, non-region rival Bradwell. Not only did they close out their regular season, but they also honored 12 seniors in their annual Senior Night game.
Defense ruled the first half of the girls’ matchup. Liberty goalkeeper Madison Winn stepped up and made a big save for her team in the 33rd minute, but the defensive battle did not last long.
The next two minutes saw a flurry of offense on both sides as the Tigers got on the board first with a goal from Martha Hause in the 34th minute. Just forty seconds later, the Panthers responded with a big goal from Kayla Hernandez.
The Tigers looked to take a 2-1 lead into halftime after Jewel Smith poked a ball through and into the net. However, that goal was negated due to an offsides call and the score stood tied at halftime.
The Lady Panthers looked to make a big run early in the second half as Carmae Gumataotao and Lauryn Banks combined for an exciting sequence that came up just short of a goal.
Bradwell took the lead early in the second half as Sarah Hause pushed a goal past Winn in the 51st minute, giving them the definitive lead.
The boys were not as unlucky as their female counterparts, but could pull a win out for the final game of the regular season. The Panther boys and Tiger boys fought to a 2-2 tie.
Bradwell got on the board first with a goal in the 10th minute. The Panthers answered five minutes later with a big goal from Alex Fernandez.
The Tigers took a 2-1 lead into the half after a goal in the 36th minute of the game. The Panthers fought their way back in the second half, but had to settle for the 2-2 tie, even after a pair of overtimes.
The Panthers fell to 7-8-1 on the year and have secured the fourth seed in Region 2-AAA and will play in the first round of the AAA state playoffs on April 26. The Tigers moved to 6-9-1 on the year and the final score from their Friday matchup against Pierce County was not available at press time.
Between the two games, Liberty County honored 12 seniors. Andrea Redding, Tia Anderson, Lauryn Banks, Dionne Jenkins, Karen Sarpong and Sidney Wilkinson were honored from the girls’ side while Alec Sutton, Alex Fernandez, Isaiah Esterbrook, Jared Elmore, Nick Scott and Skyler Stanley were honored on the boys’ side.