Granby " Lady Panthers give tough St. Mary’s team all it can handle | SkyHiNews.com

Granby " Lady Panthers give tough St. Mary’s team all it can handle

Will Bublitz
Sky-Hi Daily News

Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi Daily News

In their final game before spring break, Middle Park High’s girls soccer team lost a close 1-0 game to St. Mary’s Academy in Denver, but that defeat was actually a moral victory for the Lady Panthers.

The pre-spring break game was originally scheduled to be played in Granby, but the deep snow on Middle Park’s home field forced it to be moved. Played Thursday, April 3, the Lady Panthers held their Metro League opponents scoreless until late in the second half.

“It was a very tough game with a lot of physical play by both teams,” said coach Molly Sargent. “Both teams fought hard to win. When it was over, I think we had proved to St. Mary’s and to ourselves that we are not a team to be taken lightly.”

Going into that game, the Lady Panthers definitely had something to prove. In last season’s game, they had lost an 8-0 shutout to St. Mary’s.

“We got slaughtered last year,” Sargent said. “In that game, they continued to pound us and completely controlled the game. We couldn’t do anything. We had no shots on goal and virtually no possession of the ball.”

But what a difference a year has made. In the April 3 game, Middle Park fought St. Mary’s to a virtual standstill until the second half.

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“After a slightly rocky start, our players did an exceptionally fine job,” Sargent said. “We had five shots on goal and made six corner kicks compared to zero for both in last year’s game. And we created a great number of offensive opportunities,

especially in the second half. Compared to last year, we played with more urgency, aggressiveness and ability.”

Sargent praised several of the team’s players for “notable performances.”

“Our sweeper Cassie Strang did a fantastic job of communicating from the backfield and containing St. Mary’s attackers,” she said.

Also coming in for praise was Hannah Levett.

“Hannah did a great job shutting down St. Mary’s top player, who scored four goals on us last year but didn’t even make a shot on goal in this entire game,” Sargent said.

“I was particularly impressed with Hannah at the beginning of the second half when she did an exceptional job at defense in the middle third of the field, which allowed us to counterattack. Her aggressiveness on defense is a great catalyst for our increasing pressure on offense,” she said.

Another player commended for her play in the St. Mary’s game was Angela Malley.

“Angela continued to be our rock,” Sargent said. “She is our most consistent player on the field. Her performance affects the entire game with our players feeding off her energy.”

The Lady Panthers returned from spring break this week and are preparing for more competition. They have seven games remaining in their regular season.

“We’re looking forward to them as great possibilities and successes that we’ll earn,” Sargent said. “We’ve had only three losses so far this season, which is amazing.”

Middle Park is scheduled to play Holy Family on Friday. Originally planned as a home game, Sargent believes the game will probably be played on Holy Family’s field near Broomfield. The junior varsity game is slated for 5 p.m. with the varsity playing under the lights at 7 p.m.

The Lady Panthers will also be playing the Sun Devils of Kent Denver on Saturday. The varsity-only game on Kent Denver’s field is set for 1 p.m.

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