LH girls blank Belton JV, 3-0
By BOB VARMETTE
Liberty Hill sophomore midfielder Alex Svetlik doesn’t find the back of the net a lot for the Lady Panthers.
But given the opportunity, she can certainly capitalize.
She made two shots count Tuesday night, scoring twice to lead the Lady Panthers past the Belton Lady Tigers junior varsity 3-0 in non-district girls soccer at Panther Stadium.
“It was really a surprise because I really don’t score much. Scoring from 20-30 yards out was pretty amazing,” Svetlik said. “It’s a good feeling – winning 3-0. Especially when you work real hard and they weren’t just luck goals. We really worked hard for them.”
Senior Tayler Walter added a late insurance goal for the Lady Panthers (6-3-3).
Liberty Hill dominated the match, controlling possession and forcing Belton to play defense on their own end of the pitch. The Lady Panthers wasted no time in going on the attack and putting the Lady Tigers in defensive mode.
Liberty failed to get off a shot through the first five minutes despite keeping Belton in its own end. But in the 17th minute Svetlik tallied her first goal on a long, high shot from about 30 yards out that the Lady Tigers goalkeeper appeared to have saved, but the ball bounced from her hands and into the net.
Svetlik gave the Lady Panthers a 2-0 advantage in the 41st minute, sending goal-ward a left-footed shot from about 25 yards in front of the goal. Another long, high drive, the shot sailed over the goalkeeper’s reach to find the back of the net.
“Alex is one of our leaders on the field,” Liberty Hill assistant coach Wayne Munger said. “She brings a calm on the ball. She never panics. With her on the field and having these two balls to accent her position on the field was really good.”
The Lady Panthers finalized the score at 3-0 on Walter’s goal in the 78th minute. It came off sustained Liberty Hill pressure in the Belton end, with Walter finishing off a rebound off the right post.
The Lady Tigers, forced to chase the Lady Panthers nearly the entire match, had very few chances and recorded just two shots on goal, with neither a significant threat to get past Liberty Hill goalkeeper Mackenzy Turner.
Turner spent most of the match as a spectator, watching with the Liberty Hill fans as the Lady Panthers registered 11 shots on goal – five in the first half and six in the final 40 minutes.
“It’s really easy to give up possession and spend a lot of the game on defense and keeping our defensive shape,” Munger said. “This game, we gave our defense a break, having the majority of the possession. So they had fun, we got to switch our formation, try out different things. They really had fun being creative, overlapping, just working together and enjoying it. When you’re up, it’s easy to have fun.”
Added Svetlik: “It’s more fun, obviously, when you’re up on their side of the field. We just took our time and used one- or two-touch passes and got it up the field.”
Notes: Tuesday’s match was the second match that Munger guided the Lady Panthers on the field … Liberty Hill head coach Kelsy Quinn is on maternity leave after giving birth Monday … Friday night was a free ticket night sponsored by The Liberty Hill Independent and a number of Liberty Hill High School and Liberty Hill Junior High School students brought signs and posters to the match in hopes of scoring some of the 50 free tickets … The match was the final non-district match for Liberty Hill, which will open its District 25-4A schedule against Gatesville at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Panther Stadium.