Granby " Middle Park girls end soccer season with best-ever record for program |

Granby " Middle Park girls end soccer season with best-ever record for program

Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi Daily News
ALL | Sky-Hi Daily News

After a hard-fought season that did not see any home games until its last week, Middle Park High’s girls soccer team has finished all of its competitions for the year.

Despite losing three of their last four games, the Lady Panthers can be proud of what all acknowledge as the best season in their eight-year history.

“We had a 6-9 record this year, which is our best-ever for our program,” said coach Molly Sargent. “We scored 20 more goals then last year and made 100 more shots on goal.

“I think that’s pretty darn awesome,” she added. “As a team, we made the greatest improvement by any team in the Metro League this season.”

The final four games of the Lady Panthers’ 2008 season began on Thursday, April 24, with a 4-0 loss to Peak to Peak on that team’s field in Lafayette.

“We lost that one, but we definitely kept it competitive right to the end,” Sargent said. “The score doesn’t really reflect how evenly we played against them. We did a good job transitioning and adapting to the fast-paced game that was played by Peak to Peak.”

Sargent especially commended the efforts of two of her players in the April 24 game.

“Cindy Hobbs, who is a sophomore, has grown tremendously as a defender who definitely knows how and when to take the ball into the open space,” she said. “And our senior Emily Hetzler definitely had the best game of her career, playing with confidence and stepping up her defensive play. She really closed down Peak to Peak.”

On the heels of Thursday’s game, Middle Park’s players held their first home game of the season on Friday, April 25. Hosting Weld Central in a non-league game, the Lady Panthers charged to a 5-1 victory.

“Weld Central was second in their league and will be joining us in the Frontier League next year,” Sargent said. “This game was a great opportunity for us to see one of the teams that we’ll be playing in the future.”

Middle Park dominated that first home game from start to finish. The Lady Panthers made 35 shots on goal, their highest number for the season.

The five goals earned by Middle Park included single goals by Ashley Chase, Ryndi Zastrow and Rylie Burrows. Two goals were earned by Hannah Levett.

“It was great to see the variety of attackers we had in that game,” Sargent said.

“Ashley Chase played one of her better games, and Rylie Burrows really pushed up the field to be an active offensive attacker.

“I was also really impressed by Kristin VanHorn who was constantly moving and connecting passes for the attack,” she said. “Andie Huston also connected the passes and dribbled the ball well to the open spaces.”

After those two back-to-back games, the Lady Panthers then had to deal with a third on Saturday, April 26. This time, they faced Faith Christian, the state’s No. 1 team, in another home game. Despite a good effort, Middle Park fell 5-0.

“It was a very, very cold and windy day, but we played a decently matched game against Faith Christian,” Sargent said. “We really hung in there for 70 minutes, but our gas tank went empty in the last 10 minutes, when we gave up two goals. All in all, we played very well against the best team in the state.”

Middle Park’s season finally came to an end with one last game on Monday, April 28. Taking on a tough Denver Christian team, the Lady Panthers battled hard but lost 4-2.

“For the last game of the season, our team played phenomenally,” Sargent said. “Our girls fought to win during all 80 minutes of play. It was the first time in the eight years of our program that we not only scored against Denver Christian but scored against them twice.”

Middle Park’s first goal in the final game was earned by Ryndi Zastrow on a breakaway from a cross pass from Hannah Levett. Lindsey Birdseye made the second goal unassisted on a 25-yard shot in front of the net.

With the end of their 2008 season, the Lady Panthers are saying goodbye to their seniors who will be graduating this spring.

“We will greatly miss Angela Malley who has been our starting goalie for the past three years,” Sargent said. “We’ll also be missing our whole defensive line that includes Cassie Strang, Emily Hetzler, Andie Huston and Jaime Sutton. Carin Reeter and Kelsey Peterson contributed heavily to the junior varsity’s improvement this season. We wish all of our seniors the best of luck in their future endeavors.”

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