Prep Soccer: Eagles shut down rival Panthers, 5-0
Taylor McPhatter banged home a pair of goals in the first half of Thursday’s non-conference battle, powering East Davidson to a 5-0 victory over Ledford.
“Once we get an advantage, we really just roll after that,” McPhatter said. “We wanted to come out and play together.”
A flurry of early shots were enough to give East a 1-0 lead in the first two minutes of the contest, as one successfully found the net while another hit the crossbar. Following the early attack by the Eagles (12-4-1), Ledford largely controlled the ball over the next 30 minutes.
It was the visiting team, however, that once again struck the crossbar with a shot before following it with a goal two minutes later. At intermission, the Panthers (9-5-1) had nothing but a 2-0 deficit to show for a half spent mostly on their opponents’ side of the field.
“We saw that we were losing the middle a little a bit, so we tightened up and made some adjustments there,” East coach Paul McIntire said. “My back line did a great job. Mikayla Watkins controls things there for me. I give all the credit to her.”
The Eagles’ defense held up against the most significant Ledford offensive threat of the game midway through the second half, corralling the ball and sending it down field. They parlayed the stop into their fourth goal of the game, a 70-foot boot from Lori Morgan.
“We weren’t on our game,” Panthers coach Meaghan Wesley said. “It’s always a very emotional game when we play East, and I just thought we were out of it mentally. We suffered because of it. They’re a very good team.”
East goalkeeper Taylor Bell did not have to deal with many shots on goal thanks to the swarming back line. She found a way to impact the game, however, by unleashing several remarkable kicks that set up scoring opportunities and put immense pressure on the defense.
That momentum necessitated some overly aggressive play in goal by Ledford keeper Ashlyn Mann, leading to more golden opportunities for East. A mad scramble 10 minutes into the second half allowed Madi Hallman to sneak a goal past. She also added the final tally of the game.