Brook soccer team routs Lawrence Co.

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, December 5, 2001

Opening their division schedule Monday night at the SportsComplex, the defending Division 6-4A champion Brookhaven Panthersboys’ soccer team made a strong statement to the rest of thedistrict. “We’re back and it’s going to take a lot to beat us.”

In the boys’ varsity match, many junior varsity players sawtheir first varsity action in a 16-0 rout over the Lawrence CountyCougars. The Panthers (3-1, 1-0) scored early and scored often. Tenplayers accounted for the offensive onslaught that saw the Panthersoutshoot the Cougars, 37-3.

Judson Langston, Daniel Gates and Justin Windham each scoredthree goals, a “hat trick.” Ben Giust, Justin Sykes, TedrickRatcliff, Zach Harrison, Tyler Alexander, Josh Brister andgoalkeeper Domenick DiPaolo, playing midfielder, each netted onegoal.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“We were supposed to win this one decisively. It is important towin convincingly within the district,” said Brookhaven coachCharles Willoughby. “I was particularly pleased with how well theyounger (JV) players were treated by the older ones.”

Despite the score, the young, less experienced Lawrence Countyteam remained enthusiastic. “They never gave up. Never quit.” saidBHS coach Rob McCreary. speaking about the visiting Cougars. TheCougars continually pressured the ball and managed to thwartseveral of the Panthers’ attacks.

John Foster relieved DiPaolo in the net during the latter partof the second half as they shared in the team’s third shutoutvictory. “Overall, it was a good effort,” said McCreary, “I wish wecould be this tough every game.”

The boys’ schedule is one of the toughest in recent years forthe Panthers. It has traditional 5-A powerhouses Northwest Rankinand Warren Central, defending 4-A state champion Pearl, plus St.Joseph and St. Aloysius remaining in addition to their districtopponents. McCreary hopes the strength of schedule gets them readyfor post-season play.

In addition to making a run at the state championship this year,the boys’ other goal is to not only go unbeaten again in districtplay but to try to keep their district opponents scoreless. Theyare on their way to meeting these goals.

In the girls game, Brookhaven’s varsity registered a 7-0shutout over the Lady Cougars also opening their district run witha decisive win. Elaine Smith scored four goals and Jessie Pigott,Kate Giust and Chuvaquah Smith also scored a goal as the LadyPanthers overpowered a young Lawrence County team.

Defensively, the Lady Panthers (2-4, 1-0) played a solidgame allowing only eight shots on goal. Offensively, they pepperedthe Lady Cougars with 22 shots. Much like the boys’ team, the girlshave difficult schedule in front of them.

“They played well and played more as a team tonight,”said BHS girls coach Kevin Bower. “Our younger players reallyshowed some potential.”

The Lady Panthers next take the field at the SportsComplex on Thursday night against Northwest Rankin at 5:30 p.m. Theboys play at Warren Central on Friday at 5 p.m.