Creston took a 1-0 lead in the first half in its quest for the season’s first victory, but the Chariton girls rallied to defeat the Panthers, 2-1, in soccer action Monday night at Panther Field.
Having lost to the Chargers 1-0 on April 16, the Panthers looked to avenge the loss when senior McKenna Thatcher broke the scoreless deadlock with 26:00 left in the first half.
“It was a really beautiful shot just outside the 18,” said assistant coach Jerry Hartman. “It bent, kind of hooked in.”
“Yeah, she fought for it,” said head coach Kim Lauffer. “I thought they were taking it away, and she got it back. It was a nice shot.”
But three minutes later Chariton forward Luiza Tsygipalo took advantage when the Panther defense failed to clear out the threat, and she punched it into the net.
The score stayed 1-1 well into the second half, but operating with the south wind in their favor, the Chargers had many more scoring chances. During that stretch, Creston goalkeeper Sadie Jones stopped a penalty kick by Chariton’s Tsygipalo.
Jones finished with 25 saves, including 18 in the second half.
Faith Stufflebeem finally converted for Chariton during a scrum in front of the net with 11:23 left.
“We were bunched up and weren’t communicating with each other,” Lauffer said. “Their girl at the very end chipped it up over everybody and it went in. The keeper, nobody, could see it until it was too late. It was a nice shot.”
Lauffer said her team is showing improvement, but in those situations the ball has to be cleared out of danger before the opposition has such a scoring opportunity.
“We have to pressure the ball and not assume somebody else is going to do it,” Lauffer said. “We can’t afford to just stand there.”
Creston had eight shots total, but put most of its pressure on the Charger defense in the opening 40 minutes.
“We worked really hard the first half,” Lauffer said. “We just have to sustain, and we could compete like this with a lot of the teams we play. We’re getting there. We’re making headway. We have to play hard the entire 80 minutes Thursday at Denison.”
Creston, now 0-6 with an 0-2 Hawkeye 10 mark, opens a girl-boy doubleheader against the Monarchs Thursday. Chariton improved to 3-4, with two of the wins over Creston.
Chariton also won the JV match, 4-2. Alecia Boyer and Abbie Cook scored goals for Creston. Cook had four shots, including two on goal. Finishing with two shots each were Boyer, Jenna Hayes and Selena Sampson. Kim Alley had 13 saves in the net.
Chariton 2, Creston 1
Creston (1) — McKenna Thatcher 26:00 first half. Shots — 8. Individual shots — Mackenzie Andreasen 4, Thatcher 3, Michelle Powers 1. Shots on goal — 3. Individual — Andreasen 2, Thatcher 1. Keeper saves — Sadie Jones 25. Cards — None.
Chariton (2) — Luiza Tsygipalo 23:10 first half; Faith Stufflebeem 11:23 second half.