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STEM — The Granville Central Lady Panthers sent senior soccer standouts Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Cortez, Maria Manzo and Ashlyn Smoot out in style with a 9-0 win against rival Louisburg on April 29.
Brenda Leyva started senior night activities by hyping up the seniors during pregame. Her motivation tactic seemed to work, as the Lady Panthers started scoring early and dominated play in the first half of the match.
Smoot took a pass from Manzo and fired it into the goal for the Lady Panthers’ first goal of the game. On the next series, Smoot dribbled through heavy traffic and blasted another shot by Ja’lynn Fields, the goalkeeper for the Lady Warriors, for a 2-0 lead.
Granville Central later worked the ball around the middle of the field until Smoot could get her foot on the ball. She sliced the ball into the back of the net for her third goal of the first half.
The Lady Panthers played solid defense and took the ball away from the Lady Warriors near midfield. Ashley Perez sent the ball toward Smoot, who was hanging out in the near corner. Smoot laced the ball by Fields for another score to put the Lady Panthers up 4-0.
Manzo took her turn at scoring with an assist from Smoot. Manzo’s score came with just under 18 minutes to go in the first half.
Manzo and Smoot connected again about a minute half later for a 6-0 lead.
Ermelinda Sanchez broke through with a goal and Smoot took a touch with the ball heading into the goal for an 8-0 lead at the end of the first half.
In the second half, Granville Central pounded the ball toward the Louisburg goal and Fields did a good job deflecting the balls away, but the Lady Panthers were on a mission to get that final goal.
Jessica Beltran started the game-winning play by taking the ball near midfield. Beltran passed off to Smoot, who dribbled down the sideline. Beltran continued to run toward the goal. Smoot saw an opening and booted the ball to Beltran near the goal. Beltran scored to end the game at 9-0.
Granville Central improved its record to 12-6-1 record with the win.
Statistics — Ashlyn Smoot (5 goals and 3 assists), Ashely Perez (2 assists), Ermelinda Sanchez (1 goal and 1 assist), Jessica Beltran (1 goal), and Maria Manzo (2 goals and 1 assist).