Liberty Hill defeats Bandera in a nine-goal thriller

Alex Svetlik (#20) pulls the ball back away from her Bandera opponent to maintain possession in the midfield. The Lady Panthers scored six goals in a 6-3 victory on Tuesday night. (Photo by Kathy Canady)

Alex Svetlik (#20) pulls the ball back away from her Bandera opponent to maintain possession in the midfield. The Lady Panthers scored six goals in a 6-3 victory on Tuesday night. (Photo by Kathy Canady)

By TAYLOR GRAFFT

The Lady Panthers Soccer team beat Bandera Tuesday night in a nine-goal thriller.

The ladies will have a bye next week to work on a few fundamentals, but are preparing for Leander’s Junior Varsity team on Jan. 28.

The scrimmage against Leander was originally scheduled for last Friday, but moved after a cancellation.

The scrimmage Tuesday marked the first time referee Brian Peterson took the field. Peterson is the husband of Liberty Hill volleyball and track Coach Gretchen Peterson. Brian Peterson played soccer in college and has volunteered to help Coach Darren Bauer and Coach Kelsey Quinn in a few scrimmages this season.

In the ladies’ scrimmage against Bandera, Liberty Hill found the back of the net six times and defeated the Lady Bulldogs 6-3.

Tayler Walter had a phenomenal game for Liberty Hill and scored four goals, while Kaitlyn Peterson and Payton Swieczkowski added one goal each.

Walter has excelled in recent games with her ability to dribble at the defenders and speed by them. She also gets her teammates involved with one-two passes to create opportunities and shots on goal.

“We have been working on finishing this past week and it really did pay off for us in the game last night,” said Coach Quinn. “We still need to work on better communication on defense so that we do not give up easy goals and make it hard on our goalies.”

One of the players who has been helping hold down the Lady Panthers’ back line well is central defender Skyler Larkin. Larkin put in another solid performance Tuesday against the Lady Bulldogs and is a vocal leader on the pitch.

Coach Quinn was missing two of her regular starters this week. Rae Jordan and Chelsea Franks missed the game, but Coach Quinn says she was happy with the way the team remained focused and did not let the two players’ absence affect their play on the field.

One of the areas that the girls have really excelled in, in recent weeks is their chemistry on the pitch. Coach Quinn is pleased with how well the players are communicating and gelling on the pitch together.

“They’re really starting to come together as a team, instead of playing as 11 individuals,” Coach Quinn said. “I knew it would take time so it is nice to see it finally happening on the field.”