Prep Soccer: Ledford braves elements to beat Storm
A biting cold breeze swirled through Panther Stadium Monday as winter had one last punch before giving way to spring. Ledford’s soccer team did not quite pack the same punch as the elements, but the jab they landed was enough for victory.
Crystal Llodrat scored 12 minutes into the second half, providing the only goal of the day to lead the Lady Panthers by Mid-Piedmont Conference opponent Southern Guilford, 1-0. Brenda Luna was credited with an assist and goalkeeper Sarah Baker made six saves in the league opener.
“Southern Guilford took it to us,” said LHS coach Meaghan Wesley. “They pressured hard and really wanted it. They did a really good job. We were able to pull out the win in the end and I think we played hard.”
Ledford (4-4, 1-0) played without two of its top center midfielders in Jordan Sapier and Tori Farlow, but were able to control play for much of the day. The Storm had very few chances to attack the LHS goal, because their own goal was surrounded in the first half. Despite plenty of good looks, the Panthers had to settle for a scoreless tie at the half.
The best chance they had first half came with 11 minutes left. Luna sent in a corner kick that Hannah Perryman put a foot on. Her deflection was on frame, but fell right into the keeper’s hands.
Though Southern played much better second half, they could not keep the Panthers silent in the 52nd minute. Luna played the ball forward from her midfield position and the speedy Llodrat broke free into the open field. The goalie left her net in an attempt to stop the progress, but Llodrat slipped the ball under the dive and it kept rolling until it stopped at the back of the net.
That was all the scoring needed for the Panthers who have faced plenty of challenges in the nonconference portion of the year.
“It has been difficult for us this year,” said Wesley. “We have low numbers and we are a young team. We do not have as much leadership as we have had, but I think our team is good individually. As far as team chemistry we have not brought that together yet, but I think we will get it.”
Ledford will host East Davidson April 4.
Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or firstname.lastname@example.org.