As the postseason stress started creeping up on the Greenville women’s soccer team, nerves worsened and heartbeats were racing. The Lady Panthers thought their 2019-2020 soccer season was officially over after a tough loss to Webster University in the SLIAC championship game, until they were blessed with another opportunity to keep playing.
Head coach, Jeff Wardlaw, fought long and hard in order to get his team into the NCCAA North Central Regional game. The lady Panthers were ecstatic to hear that they would have another shot at winning a championship. It was a long-awaited two weeks since the Panthers had last competed in a match.
On Wednesday, November 20, the women’s soccer team hosted their first NCCAA game at home against the Judson Eagles. The lady Panthers had the chance of winning the NCCAA regional game which would qualify them for a trip to Florida to play in the NCCAA tournament.
Greenville started off the game playing alongside of Judson keeping the shots pretty even at 8-9. Greenville had a very good chance in the first half where Jade Taylor sprinted for the ball right outside the 18-yard box, colliding with the Judson goalkeeper. The ball was knocked loose and senior Ellie Cummins took a shot but sailed it over. The lady Panthers had two shots on goal from junior Kate Arthur and freshman Jen De Leon De Leon. Sixteen minutes into the first half, freshman Jordan Wilson went down with a nagging knee injury. The game continued as usual after junior Jade Taylor had substituted in for Wilson. Nine minutes later, Judson scored their first goal which gave them the 1-0 lead. Suddenly, Judson picked up momentum and moved the ball rapidly up the field forcing crosses left and right. At the twenty-seventh minute, Judson had scored another goal making it 2-0. Greenville kept their heads up and kept fighting to execute the next opportunity they had to score. Unfortunately, Judson’s offense was far too strong and they scored their third goal at thirty minutes. The Lady Panthers had complete possession of the ball for most of the game, but the ladies could not find their way up the field.
Greenville had slipped up and let Judson score a quick goal five minutes into the second half making the score 4-0. After the final goal, Greenville substituted the rest of their players to finish out the game. Sadly, the Lady Panthers took a loss to the Judson Eagles 4-0. This was an evenly matched game, but the Eagles finished their opportunities. The Panthers were extremely close being a touch or a foot or two away from the goal.
As the final whistle blew, you could see the disappointment on the lady Panthers’ faces as they walked off the field for the last time this season. It is sad to say that their season is finished, but the ladies now have motivation to start preparing to take on the next season.
Media by Ellie Cummins.