Fairbanks’ Emma Cook (13) contends for possession of the ball against a Worthington Christian defender on Thursday. The Lady Panthers lost, 3-2, in the Division III tournament contest.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)
There seems to be a jinx of sorts when the girls soccer squads from Fairbanks and Worthington Christian meet at tournament time.
For the second consecutive season, the Warriors of Worthington Christian have knocked the Lady Panthers out of the Division III post-season.
Last year, the outcome came during the district semifinals.
This year’s setback came on Thursday evening by a 3-2 score on Fairbanks’ home field. It was during the sectional finals.
FHS, which finished the season with a 12-3-3 record, found itself down early as Worthington Christian’s Riley Myers put a shot past Panther keeper Macy Wanamaker with only a little more than a minute gone in the opening half.
Fairbanks tied the contest 10 minutes later when Emma Cook put in a goal.
The teams exchanged possessions for the better part of the remaining time in the first stanza.
Both Wanamaker and her Warrior counterpart, Ellie Bowers, each recorded several saves.
FHS’ Samantha Adkins did some fancy footwork around a Worthington Christian defender with 4:35 remaining until the break.
The end result was a goal that sent the Lady Panthers into the turn with a 2-1 advantage.
The opening portion of the second half was a repeat performance as the Lady Warriors sent the tying goal into the net.
Mianna Hartings beat an FHS defender and rifled the ball past a diving Wanamaker for the score.
The Warriors tallied the go-ahead and eventual winning goal approximately three minutes later.
Worthington Christian did a better job of attacking the ball during the second half.
“We didn’t go after the ball in the second half like we did earlier,” said FHS coach Randy Spain. “We just stabbed at it.”
The Lady Panthers had scoring opportunities during the final 20 minutes. Bowers, though, came up with several saves.
Other FHS shot attempts were either high or wide of the mark.
At times, the Warriors used the long ball as part of their defensive strategy.
They booted the sphere deep to eat precious time off the clock and to keep the Lady Panthers out of scoring range.
Kayla Green got the ball near the goal, but missed on a shot attempt with 4:13 remaining in the contest.
Megan Olson saw her free kick with 1:07 to play deflected by the Warriors.
Worthington Christian then ran out the timer with a goal kick.
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