In recent soccer action, the O’Fallon Lady Panthers continued to hover around the .500 mark, mirroring their effort during the 2016 campaign in the last week by going 1-1-1.
After a 4-2 Southwestern Conference loss to Belleville East, the local booters rediscovered their offensive punch to pummel Waterloo Gibault 5-2 before finishing the week with a 1-1 tie versus Chatham-Glenwood.
The Panthers were victimized by Collinsville 5-2 before facing off against Belleville East, but OTHS Craig Dippel was encouraged by his squad’s second half performance.
“We have found ourselves playing from behind in a lot of our games. We spot our opponents a goal or two and then spend the rest of the game battling to get back into
contention,” Dippel said.
“That was the case against Collinsville, but our girls did an exceptional job of persevering after falling behind 3-0 in the first half.”
The Lady Panthers nearly found themselves in the same position against Belleville East, when Lancer forward Grace Brauer rifled in three first half goals.
The barrage was answered by the OTHS girls before the intermission as they with two goals of their own off the foot of Lauren Cooper. The two squads played on relatively even terms in the second half, but the Lancers added an insurance goal at the midway point to secure a 4-2 win.
Waterloo Gibault provided the competition in the next Panther encounter. The Hawks scored quickly jumped into the lead with a goal less than two minutes into the initial stanza.
O’Fallon evened the score before halftime, but Gibault regained the lead with an early second half score.
Three minutes after the Hawk goal, Sam Stutsman knotted the score with a shot that eluded the Gibault goal-keeper.
Motivated by their second rallying goal, the Lady Panthers pressed the attack.
Alyssa McMinn headed in a pass from Mackenna Baxter which produced O’Fallon’s first lead and was the eventual game-winner. McMinn’s scoring shot was followed by Stutsman’s second goal of the afternoon. Maggie Sheerin popped in the fifth OTHS goal to add more insurance, sealing the 5-2 victory.
The Lady Panthers played Chatham-Glenwood to a 1-1 tie on Saturday.
Once again the OTHS girls found themselves battling from behind as the visiting Titans scored the only goal of the first half. The visitors kept the O’Fallon defense on its heels for most of the first forty
minutes and continued to apply the pressure. O’Fallon goal-keeper Sydney Brake and her teammates on defense were able to dodge several rushes to the goal, but Brake went down and was replaced by Claire Hoover. Forced into action, Hoover continued the solid play in the net for the remainder of the contest, making five saves.
The determined effort by the OTHS defense paid off when junior Gabby Goerke blasted in the game-tying goal.
The Lady Panthers have a full schedule this week as they are competing in the St. Dominic Shootout – annually one of the premier schoolgirl tournaments in the metropolitan area. O’Fallon was scheduled for three consecutive games in pool play, facing Parkway Central, Cori Jesu and Francis Howell Central.