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Lady Panthers prepare for playoffs

by | Mar 22, 2023 | Sports

Every win mattered for the Princeton Lady Panthers soccer team, who were able to earn a playoff bid with two wins to end the year.

This allowed the team to finish 6-6 in District 13-5A, good enough for third place overall. They’ll now gear up for the postseason, where they will face Red Oak High School in the bi-district round of the state playoffs. That game will be at 5:30 p.m. at Forney High School on Friday, March 24.

Finishing the regular season, Princeton secured its fifth win a 3-2 road victory over Melissa on Friday, March 10. All five goals were scored in the second half of the game, with Princeton narrowly edging out the Lady Cardinals on the road in a pivotal game for playoff seeding. Melissa finished fourth in the district with five wins for the season.

For her efforts in the game, Anna Bewley was named among Lethal Soccer’s Texas High School soccer players of the week. All season, Bewley has been a constant threat at striker for the Lady Panthers, supplying the goals in plentiful on the way to a playoff berth. Head coach Ryan Gerfers praised her technical ability and said it will be key to Princeton’s success in the postseason.

“She’s once in a career kind of player for a coach,” Gerfers said. “We’d like to see her set the scoring record for Princeton High School for a season and miss her entire junior season with an injury. She’s chomping at the bit to get back out there and every coach we’ve faced her first two years said she’s going to do special things.” 

Princeton also got several key stops from their other key senior player, goalkeeper Chandler Sorrell. She’s been for Princeton in net this season, coming up with multiple timely saves and helping the offense flourish when they’re able to secure wins. She’s stepped up as a leader on the field for Princeton.

“She’s a senior leader that stepped up for us and I think our success will largely depend on her and what she can do in net,” Gerfers said. “She’s really solid for us.”

Princeton capped off the season at home on senior night last Friday, March 17, defeating Greenville 9-0 in their best performance of the season. The Lady Panthers scored five goals in the first half and never looked back, cruising to a big win over the last-place Lions. In coach Gerfers’ second season as head coach, the team is now ready for a bigger challenge as they advance to the first round of the postseason. For the year, however, they were able to accomplish their mission of a playoff berth.

“We didn’t perform to the level we would have liked to,” Gerfers said. “Injuries were a big part of that performance and we lose several key players from the team. The girls are chomping at the bit and ready to go and, with only three seniors, the vibe is just different.”

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