This past weekend, the St. Paul 7th-8th grade soccer team took a 3-2 victory in a match against a tough St. Thomas More team. St. Thomas came out scoring first with a very good cross in front of the Panther goal. The Panthers came back with a goal of their own ten minutes later when Thomas Walsh drove the ball into the goal at a wide angle past a very capable St. Thomas keeper.
Despite outshooting St. Thomas 4 to 1 during the first half, the Panthers were unable to hit the back of the net during the remainder of the first half. At the start of the second half, the defenses of both teams played tough and reduced the number of shots from both teams. However, the momentum of the game stayed with the Panthers, with nearly all of the second half shots coming from the Panthers. The Panthers took the lead with a well-placed penalty kick from Evan Fogle resulting from a St. Thomas handball in the box, but St. Thomas came back with a goal of their own when the Panther defense couldn’t strip the ball from a St. Thomas forward with less than ten minutes left in the game. But the Panthers did not let down and kept constant pressure on the St. Thomas keeper.
With a couple minutes left in the game, Thomas Walsh placed a shot in the backside top corner of the net, and the Panther defense did the rest. If it weren’t for the performance of the St. Thomas keeper, the game would not have been nearly as close because of the sheer number of shots on goal taken by the Panthers. In addition to the Panther scorers, notable performances were put in by Andrew Page, Gareth Kaye, Nina Hartman, Trevor Mahlmann, and Elvin Uthuppan, who contributed to the Panther shot total, and Daniel Barajas, Katy Kras, Mikaela Meyer, Lauren Reineke, Monica Richel and Shirantha Stanislaus, who played a big part in the Panther defense. Panther keepers Kaitlyn Kras and Trevor Mahlmann had five saves between them.
The 7th-8th grade Panthers are currently 4-1. Their final two games of the regular season will be on October 17 and 18 against Our Lady of Grace and St. Casimir. Both games will be held on the Nativity soccer field.
Editor's Note: Photos for this event can be found here!
As ValpoLife continues to bring you coverage of all of our local teams, we encourage coaches, parents, and volunteers to send our Sports Editor, Brett Fuller, an email so we are making sure that all of the local kids get covered. We encourage all coaches of school, club, and park district programs to send in scores, stats, highlights, and/or photos of their team!