It’s hard to imagine senior night going much better for the Litchfield girls soccer team, who celebrated their six upper classmen with a 7-0 win over Greenville on May 13.
The victory was dotted with contributions from the fourth-year players who Coach Dominique Byots called “her babies,” as the players’ freshman season coincided with Byots’ first year as head coach.
With only one substitute on the bench, Greenville was shorthanded for the game and Litchfield wasted little time in trying to pepper the Comet goal with shot after shot.
After a few near misses, Karly Kruse knocked a cross to the far post, where a hard-charging Myka Fenton kneed it in for goal number one just two minutes into the game.
Goal number two came two minutes later as Olivia Fleming lofted a soft shot toward the net from the top of the box. The Greenville goalkeeper was tentative to grab Fleming’s bouncing shot and Kruse crashed in to knock it away and put the ball in the back of the net.
Litchfield would control much of the possession throughout the first half, but Greenville would hold the Panthers scoreless for 20 minutes after the initial surge.
One of the Comets’ best offensive chances turned into another goal for Litchfield at the 15 minute mark as Greenville was whistled for an offsides on a potential breakaway.
Jordan Ramey would take the free kick for Litchfield and would launch it into the Comet end of the field. A Greenville defender tried to get a head on the ball, but it skimmed her scalp and found the foot of Maddie Diamond.
With a quick touch, Diamond split the defense and hammered home the third goal of the game.
As was the case with the first two goals, Diamond’s score set off a flurry of offensive activity. Kruse scored goal number two on a long run from midfield, juking a defender near the box and lofting a high shot over the keeper’s head with 12:43 to play.
Less than two minutes later, Diamond scored her second as she controlled a clearance attempt and rifled a ball through traffic that didn’t stop until it hit the back of the net.
The final 11 minutes of the half would be played predominantly on the Comets’ side of the field, but the score stood at 5-0 going into the break.
In the second half, Diamond finished off her senior scoring extravaganza with goal number three, while Olivia Mitchell also found the back of the net for the Panthers.
With the help of senior defenders Allison Marburger and Jordan Ramey, Becky Painter notched her second shutout of the season, her first since the Panthers’ opening win over Staunton.
Litchfield will have a big conference match-up this Monday, May 17, as they travel to Hillsboro to face the Hiltoppers. On Wednesday, the Panthers will be back on the road as they take on North Mac in Virden for a non-conference tilt.
May 13 at Litchfield
Greenville 0 0 - 0
Litchfield 5 2 - 7
Goals: Litchfield - Maddie Diamond 3, Karly Kruse 2, Myka Fenton 1, Olivia Mitchell 1. Goalkeeper: Litchfield - Becky Painter (2nd shutout).
Record: Litchfield (4-2, 3-1).