SPASH Girls Soccer Knocks Off Merrill
By Robert Whitmire
The Merrill Blue Jays came to town Tuesday determined to pull off the upset win at the Portage County Youth Soccer Complex, but fell to the Panthers 4-0.
Unable to take advantage of several early scoring opportunities, SPASH scored the only goal of the first half off the foot of sophomore forward Abby Gemza at the 42:53 mark of the period. The goal was unassisted.
“We tell our girls to shoot for the far post and they hit it four times tonight,” quipped coach Don Peel.
Senior Anna Zajakowski put the Panthers up 2-0, kicking the ball in the net at 73:31.
“We had a lot of shots on goal but weren’t able to finish,” said Zajakowski. “We kept putting pressure on them and it eventually went our way.”
Kaylee Newland scored at 83:14 to put SPASH up 3-0 and Zajakowski rounded out the night with her second goal at 89:07, the assist coming from freshman Grace Smith.
The Panthers finished the game with 28 shots on goal. Sophomore Madisyn Rogan made a successful debut in goal for the Panthers with five saves.
“We had some trouble finishing but we did well coming out on top,” said Rogan.
The win moves the Panthers to 2-1 in the Wisconsin Valley Conference. SPASH travels to D.C. Everest Thursday for a 7 PM start, then to Wausau East May 2 with kick off set for 5 PM.
The Panthers return home Thursday, May 4 to face Wausau West at 7 PM at the Portage County Youth Soccer Complex.