Lady Panthers soccer splits first four games

Gabby Goerke wins a 1-on-1 battle

Gabby Goerke wins a 1-on-1 battle

The Lady Panther soccer team had an action packed start to the season and hold on to a 2-2 record after playing four games in six days.
The season kicked off for the ladies last Tuesday in the first round of the Metro-Cup against Waterloo High School. Despite good possession by the Panthers, a lone goal by the Bulldogs separated the teams and sent O’Fallon into the consolation bracket early. OTHS keeper Sydney Brake made eight saves in the 1-0 loss to Waterloo.
On Wednesday O’Fallon traveled back to Edwardsville to face off against the Belleville East Lancers. Wednesday’s match was a bit of déjà vu for the Panthers who once again played a tight game but a goal from East in the second half was enough to make the difference. Claire Hoover was in net for the panthers and made five saves against the Lancers.
After getting a day off on Thursday, the Panthers took to the field for their final match in the Metro Cup against Alton Marquette. O’Fallon played their best game of the tournament against Marquette and picked up a goal in both halves to close out a 2-1 finish. Sam Stutsman got OTHS on the board in the first half with a goal off of a corner kick. Stutsman’s goal was assisted by KK Voelker. The Panthers struck again in the second half on a direct kick goal by Gabby Goerke.
Despite not picking up their first win until three games into the season, varsity head coach Craig Dippel is happy with the way his team played.
“I was pleased overall with the effort. They made good strides from the first game to the last game. We put it together pretty well against Marquette and played good all over the field. The girls are getting used to each other and our style of play,” said Dippel.
On Monday night the Panthers hosted Marion High School in their first home game of the 2016 season. Goerke got the Panthers on top early in the first half for her second goal of the season. Marion struck back with two unanswered goals and put O’Fallon down by one at halftime.
Trailing in the second, the Lady Panthers executed some of their finest play all season long. O’Fallon dominated possession of the ball throughout the second half and got several quality looks at the net. In the 64th minute of play Sam Stutsman tied the game on a long-range blast that tipped off of the keeper’s gloves and into the top corner of the net. Tied at 2-2 the Panthers continued pressuring the Marion defense. Only 13 minutes after Stutsman’s goal, Panther Lauren Cooper nearly gave the Panthers a lead with a hard shot that rang off the inside post. With just minutes left Paige Black found the back of the Marion net and got the game winning goal on a shot down low.
With their win over Marion the Lady Panthers improved their record to 2-2.
“We just want to continue to grow,” said Dippel. “The girls are getting more used to all the different faces and playstyles on the field. We’re just looking to keep improving each game.”