Panthers soccer dominates Estes Park 6-2
Middle Park soccer improved to 3-3 after rolling over a hapless Estes Park team 6-2 on Friday. After a mixed bag first half, the Panthers buckled down and dominated the Bobcats to a tune of 3-0 in the second.
The Panthers got off to a quick start, taking an early 1-0 lead.
“We wanted to come out strong because we haven’t really done that in our other games,” said Captain Lukas Senovaitis. “This time we needed to come out and realize that we could win. That we can beat this team, or any team, if we come out strong and play our hardest.”
The Bobcats quickly tied the game. But from that point on it was the Panthers’ show. Middle Park came back and scored two more times before the half, a lead they would never surrender. Before halftime Estes Park scored on a massive kick from near the midline over the head of goalie Connor Life.
Middle Park wasn’t phased, and came out even stronger in the second half.
“We just discussed what we needed to work on, which was pressuring the ball,” said Captain Ryan Lane. “We came out and did a better job of that. We shot more accurate and got a couple goals. Towards the end we got to play a couple guys that have never played varsity before. Overall we completed our goal for the day.”
Middle Park brought up five players from junior varsity to play in the game.
“It’s important to let those guys come up and have opportunities to play at this level,” said Head Coach Dane Ruttenberg. “It gives them something to work towards. Playing at this level becomes a reality, and not just something they wonder about. It becomes more tangible to them.”
The story of the game was the huge offensive performance by the Panthers, who only had five goals on the season coming into the game. Middle Park was able to handle possession for most of the game, providing constant pressure on the Bobcats’ defense.
Freshman Gustavo Galaviz led the team with two goals and two assists, and Sophomore Jaime Rios also scored twice. Sophomore Akram Hanna and Senior Lukas Senovaitis both tallied a goal and assist. Seniors Cesar Sandoval and Nic Lawrence both had an assist.
Up next for Middle Park is a road game against the 5-2 Pinnacle Timberwolves on Sept. 18.
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