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Panthers sweep two games in soccer

The Cabot Panthers broke a five-game winless streak to start the season with wins over Marion and Little Rock Central last week. The Panthers are now 2-4-1 on the season.

Cabot 6, Marion 0

The Cabot Panthers beat Marion 6-0 last week for their first win of the season.

Daniel Silva scored three goals while Trevor Reed and Ian McDonald scored once. The Panthers also scored an own goal when the ball was directed into the net by a Patriots defender.

Playing against the wind in the first half, the Panthers controlled possession and created multiple opportunities to score before Reed opened the scoring with an assist from Jessie Hidalgo.

Reed then turned provider when he set up Silva for his first following a dribble to the end line and cut back for Daniel to finish from close range. Silva scored his second and the team’s third before the half ended following a flowing movement that culminated with a cross from Fabian Siegmund that Silva volleyed in.

The second half started quickly with Silva completing his hat trick following a dribble from the back from Kyle Edgar and a slide rule pass to put Silva in one-on-one with the goalkeeper.

The fifth goal came from McDonald who finished with a one-on-one with the goalkeeper from an assist by Hidalgo.

Cabot’s final goal was a Marion own goal following a cross to the far post from McDonald. Evan Wilson was close to finishing the move but the Marion defender retreating to his own goal and under pressure from Wilson failed to keep the ball out of the net. The second half scoring all occurred within the first five minutes of the half.

“It was our first win and it’s been a long time coming,” Cabot coach Steve Porter said. “We have played well previously but failed to get the rewards our performances have deserved. Tonight, not only did the boys control possession exceptionally well, but they began to finish their chances.”

Porter said his team is still “not as clinical” in front of the goal.

“The first half, in particular, we were profligate in front of goal but we will continue to work hard in practice to improve that,” he said. “Keeping a clean sheet [shutout] was also important and something that we need to build upon. There were a couple of occasions when I thought the the two center backs lost focus and almost caused us to concede a goal but, overall, their lay was good.”

Porter said his fullbacks played well.

They did an excellent job of joining the attack and found opportunities to overlap the forwards in the final third,” Porter said.

Cabot 3, Central 1

The Cabot Panthers knocked off Little Rock Central 3-1 in a non-conference game at Panther Stadium on Thursday.

The score was tied 1-1 at the end of the first half following a goal from sophomore Evan Wilson, who volleyed home a shot direct from a corner taken by Blakelin Devore.

Two second half strikes from junior Trevor Reed sealed the victory. Both goals came following excellent individual dribbling from Reed. The game was hard fought and evenly contested with neither team really settling into a rhythm and dictating play. Cabot created multiple opportunities to score in both halves to consolidate and extend their lead but failed to capitalize. Likewise, Central also carved out chances to score but failed to convert.

“It’s a funny old game,” Cabot coach Steve Porter said. “Probably our best result so far, but arguably it was one of our worst performances. We have played better in other games and failed to get the result our performance deserved, so tonight, I am just thankful for the win. I thought the game overall was very scrappy, due to both teams working so hard defensively to disrupt the opposition, but overall I think we deserved the win.”

Porter said Reed was the difference in the victory.

“His goals were great individual efforts, but, as a coach, i feel the team cannon become overly reliant on one player dong something special each game in order to win,” he said. “If we are going to compete for a conference title and compete well in the state tournament, we need to do a better job of maintaining possession and presenting the opponents with multiple threats.

“Overall, we are a young team — six of the starting 11 are sophomores, and in order for us to be successful we need to be a team that controls possession, limits opponents opportunities, and ensures that the outcomes of games are based more on technique and tactics and less on athleticism or one individuals performance.”

Porter said his team isn’t going to “out-athlete” teams that are composed mainly of seniors and juniors.

“But we can outplay them by maintaining possession with accurate passing and intelligent movement off the ball. We need to win based on being better soccer players, and not on being bigger, stronger, and faster than our opponents.”

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