No matter if it was raining or surpassing triple digits, the Moore County Women’s Soccer League was rearing to finish its regular season. For the league, it was all about good field conditions.
Last Thursday at the Juan Lagos Soccer Fields in Utley Park, the fields were well enough to put the last week of the regular season to bed. Of the four teams in the league, three were fully staffed.
In a battle for the top seed in the MCWSL Semi-finals, the Panteras downed Barza with a 5-0 result on the southern pitch. Barza was forced to play their match with third and fourth-string goalkeepers.
Meanwhile, the Dynamites secured their first victory of the season by way of a forfeit victory over the Fireballs. The Fireballs surrendered the forfeit to the Dynamites, due to lack of available players.
From their victory, Panteras earned the league’s top seed for the second straight year, improving to 6-1-2 overall. However, Panteras will aim to shake off their postseason troubles, as the Gators eliminated them by a final score of 2-1 (5-3 in penalty kicks) last season.
Barza, who settled for the league’s number two seed, dipped down to 5-2-2.
The Dynamites improved to 1-7-1, and will enter the postseason as the fourth seed. Even though the Fireballs dropped to 3-2-3, their third place position on the league table was already set.
Next up for the MCWSL will be the league semi-finals, which are scheduled for this Thursday at the Juan Lagos Soccer Fields in Utley Park. Panteras will play Dynamites on the northern pitch, while Barza takes on Fireballs on the southern pitch.
At halftime of the semi-finals, the MCWSL will announce its first class inducted into the Dumas Soccer Hall of Fame. The first inductees are Juan Lagos (posthumous) and Angela Linco.
Lagos was a member of the Dumas-based club, Chilé Dumas, in the late 1970s. Lagos was vital toward the development of soccer in Dumas. Linco played for multiple Dumas-based teams over the years, including the Three Stars soccer club in the late 1990s.
The winners of each match will play for The Moore County NewsHPress Cup at the MCWSL Championship, while the losers will play in the MCWSL Third-Place Game.
The Third-Place Game will be held on July 31, while the MCWSL Championship will take place on August 2. Following each game will be an awards ceremony with medals for the teams.
After the conclusion of the championship, the MCWSL will recognize its Golden Boot award winner. The Golden Boot is given to the league’s top scorer over the course of the season.
In last week’s lone match, the Panteras and Barza battled for league supremacy in head-to-head competition. Earlier in the season, the Panteras were awarded a 1-0 forfeit victory on May 17 before Barza claimed a 1-0 victory on June 7.
The league’s top seed was determined from head-to-head matchups, followed by goal differential and goals scored as tiebreakers.
When the match got started, storm clouds were beginning rumble over the pitch before waves of showers turned the game into a proverbial battle in the rain.
In spite of the weather, the Panteras began to take over the match in convincing fashion. At the 36th minute, Morelia Vasquez scored the first goal followed by Ashley Mendoza’s goal netted just one minute later.
By half time, the Panteras held a commanding 2-0 lead.
As the rain subsided and the second half started up, Panteras striker Edith Carrillo found the back of the net to push the navy-clad side’s lead to three goals at the 63rd minute. Carrillo’s ninth goal of the 2018 campaign granted her firm grasp on the pole position for the MCWSL Golden Boot award.
Seven minutes later, Carrillo’s left side corner kick curved toward the net, hit Barza’s Maria Galicia and slipped past the keeper to draw an own goal. This sequence pushed the Pantera’s lead to four goals.
At the 75th minute, Claraisa Martinez cemented the Pantera’s victory with her second goal of the season.
Despite a yellow card on Panteras defender Marissa Martinez, which was given one minute later, Barza was unable to bridge the gap before time expired.
Panteras 6-2-1 +18
Barza 5-2-2 +6
Fireballs 3-2-3 +1
Dynamites 1-7-1 -26
Last Week’s fixtures
Dynamites 1, Fireballs 0
Panteras 5, Barza 0
July 26 – MCWSL Semi-finals
(4) Dynamites vs. (1) Panteras, 6:30 p.m.
(3) Fireballs vs. (2) Barza, 6:30 p.m.
MCWSL Third-Place Game, 6:30 p.m.
MCWSL Championship, 6:30 p.m.
1. Edith Carrillo, Panteras 9
2. Anja Miner, Barza 7
3. Karen Estrada, Barza 4
3. Diana Garay, Fireballs 4
3. Ashley Gonzalez, Fireballs 4
4. Paola Comas, Barza 3
4. Edith Hernandez, Panteras 3
4. Sandra Ramirez, Dynamites 3
5. Gaby Lara-Prieto, Panteras 2
5. Claraisa Martinez, Panteras 2
5. Ashley Mendoza, Panteras 2
6. Anabel Hernandez, Barza 1
6. Kenia Martinez, Dynamites 1
6. Dulce Ortiz, Fireballs 1
6. Aylin Perez, Fireballs 1
6. Ana Valerio, Barza 1
6. Morelia Vasquez, Panteras 1
6. Nancy Zubia, Fireballs 1