Lady Panthers face Medina Valley in second round


By Scott Akanewich

Sports Editor

If ever there was a team whose campaign was a tale of two seasons, it’s the Medina Valley girls’ soccer squad.

The Medina Valley Panthers are currently riding the wave of an eight-game winning streak and have prevailed in 12 of their last 13 matches.

However, right before their fortunes turned around, they endured a seven-game losing streak, which left them with a 4-8 record after having dropped their district opener.

As it turns out, that defeat ended up being one of only two losses they would suffer the rest of the way, finishing second in league play with a 12-2 record and an overall mark of 18-9.

After seeing off Burbank in its playoff opener, next up is their namesakes – the Lady Panthers of Liberty Hill, who defeated Canyon in the first round by a score of 3-0.

The Purple-and-Gold suffered no such rough periods over the course of the campaign, with the biggest bump in the road being a three-game winless slide all the way back in the opening two weeks of the season.

Ever since, it’s been relatively smooth sailing for head coach Darren Bauer’s side in claiming a district championship with a 13-1 record and a winning streak which currently stands at nine games.

Emma Stephens was a one-woman wrecking ball in the win against Canyon, picking up a goal and an assist in the contest while masterfully pulling the strings in the midfield to go with goals from Piper Tabor and Neeley Giessinger.

Sophomore striker Kailey Fowler was held off the scoresheet against the Cougars, but still leads Liberty Hill with 24 goals on the season, while senior Abbey Janicek is the chief playmaker in racking up 20 assists to go with five goals.

Medina Valley is led by senior Kaitlyn Davidson, who has netted 17 times this season.

The winner will move on to the third round to face whoever emerges from the Dripping Springs-Harlandale contest.