Lady Panthers dominate soccer pitch this season
The Lady Panthers soccer team has dominated the pitch this year, going undefeated on the season and outscoring their opponents 45-5 over the course of seven games.
Middle Park’s new head soccer coach for the girls’ squad, Jared Bacon, spoke highly of the girls and the work they are putting in during practice and in games.
“These girls are playing at the level everyone thought they could be playing at,” said Coach Bacon. “They are working as a team and being creative.”
The Lady Panther’s offensive unit has been outstanding this season. Sophomore Annalys Hanna leads the team with 13 goals. She is followed closely by Senior and Team Captain Lydia Anderson with 10 goals. Junior Sarah McClain and Senior Becca Bolen both have five goals this season, while Junior Alyssa Landa and Senior Lily Dines both have four goals, rounding out the Lady Panther’s leading scorers.
The defensive unit is anchored by goalie Georga Feek, who has made 53 saves this year and allowed only five goals. She has five shutouts so far this season. Coach Bacon pointed out that Feek was helped greatly by the team’s defensive squad, which has worked to reduce the number of shots on goal that Feek has had to defend.
“They are a great unit,” said Bacon.
He highlighted the defensive work of Junior and Team Captain Chole McManigal.
“She plays in the middle and has just been on fire,” he said.
The Lady Panthers are gearing up for two conference games to finish out this week. They will play The Academy on Thursday, April 23, at 4 p.m. and then face off against The Pinnacle at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 25. Both games will be played at Middle Park High School.
Coach Bacon said most of the teams the Lady Panthers have faced this year have not challenged the girls significantly, but he thinks the Pinnacle and Academy games could be a real test for the young athletes. Middle Park is ranked 5th in the state in 3A girls soccer while The Academy is ranked 3rd.
Coach Bacon is hoping a large hometown crowd comes out to support the Lady Panther’s as they enter the home stretch towards the State Tournament, scheduled to begin May 8. Bacon said he believes that if the girls are able to finish in the top eight teams for the season they will get a first round bye in the state tournament and home field advantage in the second round.
It’s not just the varsity squad at Middle Park that is tearing up the field. The Lady Panthers JV team is also undefeated on the season with a 5-0 record allowing only a single goal in five games.
Bacon was born and raised in St. Louis, Mo., and has been coaching soccer for 20 years.
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