Middle Park soccer squard on three-game winning streak
April 20, 2017
The last few days have been a whirlwind for the ladies of the Middle Park High School soccer squad.
A pair of matches over the past week have seen the lady Panthers dominate their opponents while racking up a lopsided goal total, outscoring the two opposing teams 19-1 while cruising to wins in both contests. The girls of East Grand are now on a three-game winning streak.
After a tough loss to The Academy last week that saw the Panthers fall to the Wildcats 1-6 the ladies found their rhythm last weekend and really turned up the offense while shutting out The Pinnacle Timberwolves 5-0.
The winning streak continued on Tuesday, April 18, with another home game against the Lotus School for Excellence Meteors. The girls of Aurora's Lotus School found themselves outmatched against the Panthers on both offense and defense. The action got moving quickly as the Panthers began finding the back of the net, racking up five goals in the first 40 minutes of play. During the first half the Meteors managed to score their one and only goal of the game.
The second half was more of the same as the ladies from Middle Park tallied five more goals before the end of the second half. The game's final score was 10-1 Panthers.
Leading the charge on offense once again for the soccer girls was senior Annalys Hanna who scored three goals on the day and recorded one assist. Closely backing her up was sophomore Ellie MacKendrick who scored three goals of her own. Other Middle Park students who scored goals in the Lotus game were: sophomore Lisa McClain, sophomore Peyton Olsen, junior Cassidy Blake and sophomore Caitlin Davis.
Also helping out on the offensive side of things were junior Jordan Harms, senior Linneya Gardner and junior Emily Jensen who each recorded one assist. Anchoring the Panther defense was senior Maddie Eichler who faced three shots on goal and had two saves for the day.
The impressive performances continued Wednesday afternoon at Middle Park High as the lady Panthers headed to the pitch for a match against the Jefferson Saints. The soccer girls were in top form and cruised to an easy 9-0 victory.
The Panthers made quick work of the Saints, putting four goals up on the scoreboard in the first half of the match. The girls kept the ladies from Jefferson scoreless in the second half of play while scoring five more goals.
The Panther offense was spurred on Wednesday afternoon by the efforts of Lisa McClain who scored four goals. Annalys Hanna continued to be a force on offense while scoring two goals. Rounding out the Panther offense was Linneya Gardner, Taylor Ehlert and Maddie Eichler who each scored one goal. Ehlert also recorded two assists Wednesday afternoon along with sophomore Anna Peters with one assist and Ellie MacKendrick with four assists.
Sophomore Connor Life was a wall in the goalkeeper's position and easily handled everything the Saints threw at him, recording six saves out of six shots on goal.
Panthers' head coach Jeff Ehlert was proud of the serious effort the ladies have been putting into their games and highlighted the Jefferson game as a "perfect effort" on the part of the young ladies. "They brought all their effort into last night's game," Ehlert said. "That is what I ask of them, that they give their perfect effort. If they can continue that it will be a good run through the end of the season."
Ehlert attributed the ladies' recent winning streak to multiple factors. "We are finally healthy again," Ehlert said. "We were really banged up early in the season. But we are also entering a little bit easier part of our schedule. It is going to get tougher after this next game."
Overall Ehlert said the ladies of Middle Park are really beginning to understand the system he is trying to teach them and highlighted the way many of the team's younger players have stepped up when needed. "It really feels like it is all coming together right now," he said.
The East Grand soccer girls will on the road for their next two games. The Panthers will head down to Johnstown for a Friday evening matchup against the Roosevelt Roughriders, who currently sport a 3-8 overall record. Next Tuesday the ladies will head to Evergreen to take on the Clear Creek Golddiggers, currently sporting an overall season record of 4-3-1. The ladies of Middle Park have a 5-4 overall record for the 2017 spring soccer season and are looking even better in league play with a 4-1 record.
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