Panther soccer splits with Leesburg


LEESBURG — The Miami Trace Panthers traveled to take on the Leesburg Fairfield Lions on Thursday, Aug. 24 in a non-conference soccer showdown featuring both the boys and girls teams.

The Panther boys (1-1) came into the contest off of a 3-1 victory over Alexander, their first in program history.

The Lady Panthers (2-0) are enjoying arguably their best start in program history, outscoring their opponents 26-1 through the first two games of the season.

The girls contest kicked off the evening. The Lady Panthers struggled to find any sort of rhythm and found themselves in a 7-0 hole at the half. Leesburg would tack on three more goals in the second half to cruise to a 10-0 victory. Miami Trace had multiple shots on goal in the second half but were unable to score.

The boys contest was a different story.

Panther senior Sekou Mara started the scoring with a goal at the 37:36 mark of the first half with the assist coming from junior Ian Mavis.

Just a few minutes later, freshman Jared Griffith knocked in a goal at the 33:19 mark after an initial shot on goal was deflected by the goalkeeper on a save attempt.

At the 18:03 mark, Mara scored his second goal with another assist from Mavis, giving the Panthers a 3-0 advantage.

Leesburg chipped in a goal at the 16:57 mark to cut the deficit to two goals.

The final goal of the half came when Mara returned the favor by assisting Mavis in a goal, giving Miami Trace a 4-1 lead at the break.

Early in the second half, Panther senior Pierce McCarty drilled one from near midfield into the top of the net to extend the lead.

Mara would earn a hat trick on the evening just moments later, as he dribbled past the Lion defense for his third goal of the evening.

Goal number four for Mara came at the 18:10 mark of the second half as he took a shot on goal that was deflected by the goalie and then proceeded to score off of the deflection.

At the 14:15 mark, Miami Trace would score their final goal of the evening as Griffith knocked in his second goal to extend the lead to 8-1.

Leesburg would add two goals over the final 10 minutes of the half as the Panthers took home an 8-3 victory.

The Panthers (2-1) have their next match on Saturday, Aug. 26 at home against London at 10 a.m.

The Lady Panthers (2-1) play again on Tuesday, Aug. 29 at Chillicothe at 7 p.m.

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