Fairbanks’ Kayla Green (right) contends with a Columbus Academy player for possession of the ball Saturday afternoon. Green tallied both of FHS’ goals during a 2-1 victory over the state-ranked Vikings.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)
The girls soccer teams that battled at Fairbanks High School went into the contest Saturday afternoon with impressive records.
As a matter of fact, the Lady Panthers and Columbus Academy each had only one loss to date for the 2017 season.
The Lady Vikings entered the contest with a record of 5-1-1 and were ranked No. 12 in the state and No. 2 in the Central District for Division III.
The opponents played a fierce game under a hot sky and when all the dust was settled, Fairbanks had notched a 2-1 victory.
What made the triumph all the more impressive was the fact the Lady Panthers had to play the final 10 minutes of the contest a man down in the lineup.
With a little more than 10 minutes left on the timer, Fairbanks was whistled for an impeding handball (kept a Viking player from getting to the ball) in the box.
That brought out a red card and forced FHS to play with only 10 athletes on the field for the remainder of the contest.
At the time of the infraction, Fairbanks (now 8-1-2) held a 2-0 lead.
Academy’s Sarah Samm lined up for the penalty kick and scooted the sphere past the diving Panther keeper Macy Wanamaker.
Instead of folding their tents, the Lady Panthers kept their heads and played smart defense for the remainder of the game.
“We hadn’t played a home game for awhile and the girls wanted to come out and defend their turf,” said FHS coach Randy Spain. “We knew we had to play a strong game.
“The girls stayed composed and I was impressed with how they played with a man down.”
Kayla Green had given Fairbanks (which will host Wellington for the Kick for the Cure game this afternoon) a 2-0 advantage prior to the penalty.
She scored with 6:10 remaining in the opening half after an FHS corner kick.
Green added what would prove to be the Lady Panthers’ insurance goal nearly five minutes into the second stanza.
She tallied that goal on an assist by Sarah Young.
After the penalty kick, Wanamaker made sure Fairbanks’ one-goal lead stood up with several saves and clears down the stretch.
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