Northside kicks off girls soccer program

Published 8:04 pm Wednesday, March 22, 2023

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The first goal will have to wait, but the Northside girls soccer program is off to a running start.

The Panthers battled Washington High School in the first girls match in school history on a cool, sunny, spring afternoon, but the Pam Pack prevailed, 9-0.

Northside kept the Pack (5-1-1) off the scoreboard for the first 15 minutes while showing a good grasp of defense despite having only one experienced player, junior Laruen Rouse, out of the 15 in uniform.

“It’s great to finally play a game after practicing for six weeks,” coach Jennifer Woolard said. “This was literally the first time ever in competition for most of my girls and I’m proud of the way they responded. We were as prepared as we could be and we learned a lot.”

Washington’s Jamie Perez scored the first of her three first-half goals at the 25 minute mark, then Angelee Higuera followed with a direct kick a minute later. After a pair of goals from Perez, MaryPage Moore scored off a rebound of her own shot for a 5-0 lead. Senior Jesmelly Lugo made it 6-0 with a goal just before halftime.

“Once we figured out that it wasn’t just kickball and that we needed to pass the ball, we were fine,” coach Kendall Cox said. “It’s fun to be part of their first game and I’m really happy they have a team. It’s great that all three county schools have teams now and it’s good that girls at Northside have another sport to play.”

Cox played her reserves during the second half before play was stopped at the 20 minute mark.

Lugo found the net again early in the second half, then Moore scored her second goal for an 8-0 lead before freshman Kathya Fonseca-Reyes ended the match with her first career goal.

The Panthers had a couple second half scoring chances as Gabriella Jordan’s shot hit the left post and an attempt from Rouse went just wide.

“It’s a matter of gaining experience on the field in game situations,” Woolard said. “I’m proud of the way we kept our heads up and encouraged each other even when we were way behind. We will keep working and continue to improve.”

The next match for both teams is a rematch Monday at WHS.