The Liberty County High School Lady Panthers had little trouble dispatching Toombs County on Friday, beating the Lady Bulldogs 4-1.
Lady Panther midfielder Jenna Rountree deposited her first shot in the goal 10 minutes into the first half. Five minutes later, sophomore midfielder Madison Ullom scored to put the Lady Panthers up 2-0.
Liberty was able to dominate Toombs County on both sides of the field. Rountree picked up another goal in the second half and senior midfielder Tiffany Marquez also added a goal.
Liberty Lady Panthers coach Jarvis McArthur praised his team’s efforts Friday night, especially how well his club played defense.
"The defense played really well tonight. Freshman defender Nina Minor-Jackson and sophomore Kaylynn Fitzgerald played a good game for us tonight stopping the Toombs County attack. We also got a really good effort from Jasmina Smith stopping the ball at midfield," McArthur said.
Offensively the Lady Panthers passed the ball better than they have been. McArthur credits the efforts of assistant coach Amy Wilden for making a strong effort to teach the girls to move the ball quicker instead of dribbling the ball so much.
"We are improving in moving the ball. We have got to learn to finish better. We are starting to gel as a team and learning to move the ball as a team. We are moving the ball better, but we are learning to space out better and get to the ball," McArthur said.
Liberty moves to 1-2 on the season and opens region play against Brunswick Tuesday.
In the nightcap, senior Adrien Vakerics scored a pair of goals for Liberty to help defeat Toombs County 4-1.
Leading 1-0 at halftime, Liberty was able to come out and capitalize on the Toombs County mistakes to crack open a close game. Jalen Gilyard also added a goal for the Panthers in the second half. The other score came when a Toombs County player kicked one into his own goal.
"The game was close going into the half. We really take advantage of their mistakes and that ended up being the difference in the game," Liberty County boys’ coach Bryant Durham said.
Offensively, Durham praised the efforts of his midfield for creating a strong offensive presence for the Panthers.
"Adrien, Jalen, and Tareak Barnes really gave us a great effort in the midfield, especially during the second half. Everyone on the field contributed. In the second half the midfield for Liberty was able to limit the number of quality offensive opportunities for Tombs County and took advantage of the limited offensive opportunities given to us," Durham said.
The defensive side remains a concern for Durham.
"We have a lot of new players on defense. Tareak and Andre Burt are stepping forward for us we are learning to play as a team," Durham said.
Liberty moves to 1-2 on the season and will begin region 2A-AAAA play against the Brunswick Pirates Tuesday.
"I really think we are close talent-wise, so it should be a close game," Durham said.