Cota leads Panthers past ‘Hawks

Published 3:15 am Tuesday, October 7, 2008

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
CHOCOWINITY — Gabrial Cota turned in a dominating performance on Monday as he scored from everywhere on the field to lead Northside to a 5-1 win over Southside.
Cota netted three out of the five Panthers’ goals to lift his team to a 5-3 record and a win over the rival Seahawks.
In an evenly matched first half of play, Southside jumped ahead early when Joshua Sheppard was able to blast a 12-footer past Panthers’ goalie Alfonso Plagencia for a 1-0 lead less than five minutes into the game.
Cota answered back at the 29:57 mark, when he was able to score in transition from the right side of the field, slipping the ball past Southside goalie Hayden Huggins to knot the game at 1.
Both teams had missed opportunities in the first half, and Southside coach John Lohman said those missed scoring chances took a toll on his team as it went into halftime tied at 1.
Cota got the Panthers off to a fast second-half start as his shot from the left side of the field found the back of the net less than two minutes into the half to take a 2-1 lead.
From that point on the Panthers dominated the tempo of the game.
Cecilio Cota would make it a 3-1 game when he scored on a penalty kick at the 28:26 mark, which was followed by a Taylor Woolard goal eight minutes later.
Cota notched his third goal of the game three minutes after Woolard’s goal when converted on a 15-footer to close the scoring out at 5-1.
Bunn, who was ejected in the first half after a disagreement with a referee, said that he was proud of the way his team was able to pick up their play as the game went on.
With coach Bunn out for the second half of the game, assistant coach Jimmy Lowe took over.
The Panthers will look to keep their momentum going at home on Wednesday when they host Manteo, while the Seahawks will try and rebound at Perquimans on Wednesday.