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Lady Panthers win tourney title

Cabot’s Braxton Reed battles for the ball with a Conway player during the first round of the Cabot Invitational on Saturday at Panther Stadium. Also pictured for Cabot is Codee Park . (Photo by Chad Matchett)Buy Photo
Cabot’s Braxton Reed battles for the ball with a Conway player during the first round of the Cabot Invitational on Saturday at Panther Stadium. Also pictured for Cabot is Codee Park . (Photo by Chad Matchett)
Cabot’s Trevor Reed controls the ball during the Panthers’ game with Rogers Heritage on Saturday at Panther Stadium. (Photo by Chad Matchett)Buy Photo
Cabot’s Trevor Reed controls the ball during the Panthers’ game with Rogers Heritage on Saturday at Panther Stadium. (Photo by Chad Matchett)

Panther Stadium was the site of the Panther Invitational soccer tournament this past weekend, with the Lady Panthers taking the title.

The Lady Panthers took on the Conway Lady Wampus Cats in the first game of the day as Cabot defended their home field with a 2-0 win.

Playing without All-State forward Jessica Souza and All-Conference forwards Anna Applegate and Sydney Farquharson, the Lady Panthers were still able to get a win against a solid Conway team.

Amalie Gunn, Codee Park and Leelee Denton stepped into those attacking roles to help Cabot get the win. Park scored the first goal against Conway, which would have been enough by itself for the win thanks to a tough defense.

Cabot didn’t allow Conway to take a shot on goal or even register a corner kick during the first half.

The offense wasn’t running as smoothly without the stars on the field, however.

“We continued to struggle to possess cleanly and relied on our ability to counter attack quickly and won ourselves several corner kicks,” said coach Kerry Castillo.

Devin Patterson scored off a corner kick from Park to set the final 2-0 margin.

That win put Cabot in the finals against the Mount St. Mary’s junior varsity team. Despite being a junior varsity team, they defeated Rogers Heritage to make it to the game against Cabot.

The Lady Panthers took down the Belles 3-0 behind another sterling defensive effort.

“Again our backline came up big for us denying any attempts on goal or even giving up a corner kick,” Castillo said. “Mount managed a couple of free kick attempts, but nothing that truly threatened us.”

Patterson and Park connected again to put the Lady Panthers on the board. This time, Patterson drove a header past the keeper on a corner kick from Park.

The second half saw junior Braxton Reed beat her man one on one for a pair of dynamic goals to give Cabot a little breathing room.

“We have goals we want to accomplish and objectives to reach prior to those goals and those things were discussed immediately after the win,” said Castillo. “Congratulations you won, but let’s move forward with our preparation and thinking. The girls are driven and know how close we were last year. They are certainly up to the task at hand.”

Earlier in the season, Cabot defeated Springdale 4-0 and Valley View 4-0.

Against Springdale, Souza opened the match with the first goal early in the contest. Reed scored the second goal, while an own goal by Springdale gave Cabot a 3-0 lead.

Park to Patterson from the corner was again a lethal combination as Patterson scored the fourth goal in the win.

Valley View saw a very quick goal as Melody Sampson put one in the back of the net just 30 seconds into the game, with some help by Farquharson providing pressure and a good pass from Maddie Rice.

Souza scored the second goal of the game, while Rice took matters into her own hands on the third goal by creating a turnover and beating her defender one on one to get an open look at the net. Souza finished off the scoring with her second goal of the night to set the final 4-0 margin.

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