Lady Panthers down North Lamar, 7-0

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By Scott Akanewich
Sports Editor
If Thursday’s 7-0 victory for the Liberty Hill girls’ soccer squad over North Lamar in the opener of the Panther Cup is any indication, the Lady Panthers are picking right up where they left off last season.
As in scoring goals and plenty of them.
Sophomore forward Emma Stephens and junior striker Piper Tabor led the way with two goals each as the home side easily outclassed their visiting namesakes.
Stephens opened the scoring for the Lady Panthers, a goal which was quickly followed by another from Mykenna Russo for an early 2-0 advantage and the Purple-and-Gold only piled on from there.
In the 21st minute, Stephens gathered up the ball and broke in on the North Lamar keeper, only to deftly chip the ball over the fallen netminder and in for a 3-0 lead, which was where proceedings stood at the half.
However, it didn’t take long at the outset of the second half for Liberty Hill to build on its lead.
Tabor scored both of her goals in quick succession in the 41st and 42nd minutes for a 5-0 lead, which were added to by strikes from Athena Brown in the 49th and Mia Macias in the 69th, the latter of which was a speculative effort from outside the area which beat the keeper for the final margin.
At the opposite end of the pitch, junior goalkeeper Sam Carter kept a clean sheet, only being forced into a single save and was pleased with the efforts of her teammates in front of her, she said.
“A win like this gives our team a lot of confidence,” said Carter. ‘It shows us what we’ve been working on in practice works during a game.”
Despite the one-sided scoreline, Liberty Hill head coach Darren Bauer used the result as a measuring stick moving forward.
“We still have a lot of areas we need to work on,” he said. “But, I’m happy with how we kept our shape offensively and defensively today.”
Bauer said it was a relief to finally play a meaningful game after four weeks of training and scrimmages.
“We love this first weekend of the season – it’s always great,” he said. “Now, we can all start to have fun.”
Bauer singled out sophomore defender Alyssa Lee for a job well done on the day.
“Alyssa’s not a center back by trade,” he said. “But, she played well and will gain confidence.”
Carter said she and her teammates are already beginning to see all their efforts come to fruition.
“We showed how our team has really bonded,” she said. “Even with our relationships outside of soccer – we work together.”
Liberty Hill (1-0) will next face Midlothian Heritage on Friday at 3 p.m.

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