Middle Park soccer loses second straight game
March 15, 2018
The Middle Park Panthers Girls Soccer Team dropped their second straight game on Wednesday afternoon, falling to 1-2 after losing to the SkyView Academy Hawks, 5-1. After a convincing 6-0 opening day win against the Lotus Meteors last week, the Panther defense seems to have given out.
The Panthers have been outscored 8-2 over their last two games, and now find themselves in a tough spot with a big league game against Arrupe Jesuit coming up this weekend.
"We didn't play well last night," said Head Coach Jeff Ehlert. "We had some opportunities, but our defense is really playing poorly right now…We knew they were going to be tough games, but I really expected us to at worst split the two. So it's a little disheartening."
Junior Lisa Mcclain scored her team leading fourth goal of the season, while Freshman Abby Kuhnel recorded her first assist of the season. But coach Ehlert said he was disappointed with the way the girls played, citing a lack of movement without the ball, and said there may be lineup changes in upcoming games to address those issues.
Ehlert said that Junior Lydia Silber and Freshmen Katie MacKendrick impressed with their play this week, and likely earned starting rolls as center backs in the Saturday matchup.
"We're changing the lineup a little bit this week, and putting in some players that showed some promise last night when they got in," said Ehlert. "They're going to get an opportunity to see if they're the fit we're looking for."
The Panthers hope the impact will be immediate. At the moment Middle Park is 1-0 in league matches, but a vital early season conference game against the new and improved Arrupe Jesuit Generals looms. The Panthers easily handled the Generals last year, with a 9-1 win. But the Generals didn't graduate a single player, and fired out to a 3-0 start this season.
Most impressive has been the way they've been winning. The Generals have allowed only one goal this season, and are outscoring opponents 15-1 in the early going. Middle Park will have to focus on containing Arrupe Jesuit's star player Senior Leslie Quintero, who's already accumulated seven goals and 16 points this season. Sophomore Sue Duran, who has five goals and 13 points on the season, could also prove a headache for the Panthers.
"We need to really do well to win," said Ehlert. "Last year we beat them 9-1, but I knew they were going to be better this year. This teams been playing together for a year straight now, so they're going to be much improved."
Middle Park takes on Arrupe Jesuit at 11 a.m. on Saturday for their home opener.