After a day filled with nonstop rain, the Lady Panthers took the field against a virtually unscouted Grand Rapids West Catholic team. The air was frigid, and the ground still wet, but the Panthers didn’t seem to mind.
Right from the get-go West Ottawa was on the attack, dominating every aspect of the game. Winning the possession game proved important as chance after chance was generated, eventually leading to a Bria West goal with still over thirty-four minutes to play in the first half. Only forty seconds later, Bailey Chapman ricocheted a shot off the far post, but to no avail. Then, with the clock reading 29:06, West recorded her second goal of the night by banking a corner kick off the opposition. Exactly six minutes later, Chapman returned with another chance of her own, but this time the goal would not evade her. From nineteen yards out, with a defender in front of her, Chapman feinted left, spun right, and with the ball on her right foot, buried it into the left side netting to put the Panthers up 3-0. Only three and a half minutes later with still 18:40 to go in the half, Chapman’s corner kick was met by Eden Hutzel, who didn’t miss her opportunity, adding yet another goal to the Panther’s lead. West Ottawa coasted for the remainder of the half but held strong defensively as goalie Ashley Kliphuis only had to make four routine saves. The story of the first half was high pressure net play by West Ottawa, which led to a total of seven corners and was a big contributor to the 4-0 scoreline at the break.
With a four goal cushion, one would think the Panthers would be content to sit back and enjoy the rest of the game, but they did just the opposite. Their attacking mindset benefited them only two minutes into the second half as Chapman’s shot off the keeper slowly rolled across the goal line before Morgan Timmer became the beneficiary, putting West Ottawa up 5-0. Ten minutes later, with just under a half an hour to play, Kari Sweeney dribbled across the middle of the field and rocketed a shot from twenty-five yards out, banking it off the far post for another Panther goal. The Panthers continued to attack with multiple shots on goal until finally, with still 16:21 to play, Madi Hill‘s scrappy play around the net paid off as she put her team up 7-0. West Ottawa only needed one goal to cut the game short due to the eight goal mercy rule, and with two minutes and nineteen seconds to play, Sophie Klamt‘s cross from the right side was met by Danielle Depree, giving the Panthers an 8-0 mercy of Grand Rapids West Catholic. Kliphuis was only forced to make a total off five saves over the course of the game, due to a dominant Panthers defensive line.
The next Girls Varsity Soccer game will take place on Wednesday, May 9th at 7:00 at home versus Grandville.