MATT COPLEY OF the Pana Panthers (white jersey, center) heads the ball to a team mate during action on Wednesday, Sept. 23, at Tanner Field between Pana and the Roxana Shells.
A pair of late goals in the game gave Pana a 2-1 win and boosted their South Central Conference record to 5-1.
At left are Pana’s Jake Trexler, number 7 and Jacob Latonis. To the right is Logan Dameris, number 12.
(Tom Latonis Photo)
Goals by Jake McLeod late in the second half propelled the Pana Panthers to a 2-1 victory over visiting Roxana on Wednesday, Sept. 23, at Tanner Field. It was a South Central Conference game and Pana moves to 5-1 in the league and 9-2 overall.
The game was changed to Wednesday due to a conflict with the Roxana School District. It had been scheduled to be played today, Thursday, Sept. 24.
There was no scoring in the first half and the Shells drew first blood 10 minutes into the second half. Landon Godar launched a shot from about 25 yards out which sailed over the outstretched arms of Pana goalie Jack Epley as the ball floated just under the goal crossbar.
It almost looked like the goal would stand up, but with 8:11 left in the game, McLeod got the equalizer as a tipped ball came to him just outside the goal mouth and he punched it into the net.
With time running out, McLeod got the game-winner off a pass from Tristan Wooldridge. As he was falling to the ground, an out-stretched McLeod got his right foot on the ball and guided it past goalie Brenden Jones with 1:19 left in the game.
Pana did get 19 shots on goal and Jones had 7 saves. Meanwhile, Epley saved 6 shots, facing 13 Roxana shots on goal.
Vs. North Mac–
The goals came rather infrequently, but Pana managed to shut-out the North Mac Panthers at Tanner Park on Monday, Sept. 21, 3-0.
Actually, the first goal of the game came rather early, just a minute-and-a-half into it. Jake McLeod, unassisted, scored with 38:26, left in the first half, almost before spectators got their popcorn and drink and settled into their seats.
The half would end with that score, and it wouldn’t be until the 33:11 mark of the second half before McLeod made it 2-0. He scored off an indirect free kick by junior Jacob Latonis with 33:11 left in the game.
Senior Rhett Zahradka got an insurance goal at the 2:49 mark as he hit the back of the net from about 22 yards out to make the final, 3-0.
The Panthers had 35 shots on goal and their keeper made 14 saves. Jack Epley of the Panthers faced 10 shots with 4 saves to his credit. This is his fourth shut-out of the season.
It’s a rough stretch of the schedule for Pana as they have 3 games in 4 days, but the good news is 2 of them are at home. Saturday, Sept. 26, Pana will play host to non-conference opponent Effingham St. Anthony. Kick-off is at 11:00 a.m. On Monday, Sept. 28, the Panthers will be at Taylorville for the “Battle of Route 29.” The game will start at 4:30 p.m. Then on Tuesday, Sept. 29, Pana will entertain conference foe Hillsboro in a contest set for 4:30 p.m.