Western hosted Leslie in their final regular season game Tuesday night. The Panthers were looking to rebound quickly after dropping a game to Marshall last week, and rebound they did. A 6-0 rebound against a Top 10, Division 3 opponent.
As the game began, Western made it clear they wanted to maintain possession and do as much as possible to dominate the pace of the game. It took 18 minutes for the Panthers to find the back of the net when Caden Embury slotted a ball across to Marshal Eva who put the Panthers up by one.
Before the first half ended, Western found the net again when Kayden Shrock connected a cross from the right wing to a horizontal Louis Cayrou who smashed a side volley into the back of the net. The crowd in the Panther Bowl appreciated such a fine goal.
Leslie came out strong in the second half and caught the Panthers a bit off guard. Yet, Western was able to hold them off with a strong back line and quick hands by goalie Michael Herrington. As Western took a deep breath and regained their first half control, the attack began to mount. Playing out of the back, Gavin Speer moved up the field and launched a vicious shot that ricocheted off the cross bar to a waiting Logan Coleman. With a quick one touch, Coleman ripped the ball into the back of the net for the Panthers third goal.
This, then, unleashed the Panther’s prowl, and Western turned up the heat. Just two minutes later, with the grass getting wet, Jon Shaw took a shot from distance which hit just in front of the Leslie keeper and skipped between his legs to make the score 4-0.
Caden Embury was able to score the next goal as Ian Maynard assisted from the outside. Embury made a quick turn with the ball and quickly found a way to beat the keeper.
After a foul on Louis Cayrou, Jon Shaw and Cam Blakemore discovered an open lane on a set piece and Jon ripped a shot that finished the scoring for the panthers, as the net rippled in the North goal.
The “Man of the Match” award goes to Jon Shaw (2 goals), Cam Blakemore (2 assists) Caleb Griffith, Ian Maynard (1 assist), Gavin Speer (1 assist), and Michael Herrington (9th shutout of the season).
Western finishes the 2019 regular season with a mark of 14-3 as they head into the first round of District play. The Panther Bowl is host to districts this year, and the Western Men’s Soccer team is ready to defend its territory. Come watch an exciting team play a great style of soccer. Make sure to arrive early to find your seat, and bring your NOISE!!