One year after finally making the state tournament for the first time, the Kingwood Park Panthers girls’ soccer team is once again a force to be reckoned with in Texas high school soccer.
Thus far, the Panthers have only lost one match, and are undefeated and sit in first place in District 20-5A.
In the past two weeks, the Panthers played their top three competitors in district play, and made clear who the team to beat in the district is.
Against Tomball on Jan. 29, the teams played to a scoreless first half draw, but in the second half, Allie Byrd and Marilyn Perri scored goals, powering the Panthers to a 2-0 win.
Following that match, on Feb. 1, the Panthers traveled to Texan Drive Stadium for a match against New Caney.
Again, it was a 0-0 draw at the half, although Perri saw a couple of good chances in the first half. But, the Panthers struck in the second half as Katherine Tiedtke found the back of the net with 27:24 left for a 1-0 Panthers win.
Last Tuesday night at home against Porter, the Panthers once again found themselves in a tight match, trailing 1-0 at halftime as Porter scored very early in the match.
But, just under seven minutes into the second half, Bailey Schoener tied the match for the Panthers.
Then, with 17:07 remaining, Bella Salazar nailed a perfect shot from long distance, giving the Panthers a 2-1 lead. Five minutes after that, Jacqui Daspit sealed the match for the Panthers with an insurance goal and the Panthers won the match 3-1.
Friday night against Willis, the Panthers ran their district record to 7-0 and 13-1 overall with a dominant 7-0 win.
With the first half of the district season ending this Tuesday night, Panthers head coach Jess White said the team that wins will be the team that is the most consistent throughout play.
He also said, though he likes the Panthers defensively no matter who plays, that he’d like to see more assertiveness offensively
“Offensively, we possess the ball very well, but I’d like to be a little more aggressive on the scoring end,” White said.
This week, the Panthers will be home on Tuesday night against Huntsville, and Friday against Montgomery, also at home.