The Leopards Soccer team lost against the Jackson County Panthers on Wednesday with a final score of 7-0. Despite the loss, Coach Samuel Steele believes that the program is producing something special for the future.
The game started off well for the Leopards in the first half. The team was almost able to score a goal early in the match, and they challenged the Panthers with high intensity tactics. However, the Panthers were able to score within 20 minutes of the half, and then again just before the halftime whistle. And despite their best efforts in the second half, the Panthers were able to score five more goals on the Leopards.
However, Coach Steele believes that the Leopards are showing marked improvement.
Offensively, the Leopards exposed the Panthers’ back line with Lucious Bowden and Aaron Scott at the helm of the attack, and Tommy Gannon bolstered the attack along with Emmanuel Alcaraz. They were able to break the Panthers’ defensive lines numerous times to create chances at the goal.
Iram Lopez and Dylan Charles played the midfield well, giving Daniel Elias creative freedom up the field. The Leopards’ back line stayed busy all night, but co-captains Chevis Payne and Grant English kept the group organized and focused on the goal.
The team’s outside backs, Will Armour and Nathan Brown, were busy all night as well. Steele said that the two players are asked to do a lot up and down the field, and that their work rate was phenomenal during the night.
In the second half, Coach Steele decided to give the underclassmen time to play on the field in the hopes that experience for the younger players will create a stronger program.
“I told the boys after the match that I was proud of their efforts because we were up against a much larger program in Jackson County High School, but we played with heart and gave them more than they were expecting to deal with,” Steele said. “These guys continue to improve through this season, even though the win and loss column doesn't show the growth I've seen in the players. I think we are building something to be proud of if we continue this growth.”
This week, the Leopards Soccer team will be traveling to Blairsville on Friday, March 17, to go up against the Union County Panthers in their first region match of the season.
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