Panthers fight back from 3-0 deficit, defeat Razorbacks 5-4

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Panthers fight back from 3-0 deficit, defeat Razorbacks 5-4

Alpha’s Daniel Casillas keeps the ball away from Theta Kappa’s Nate Chrysler. Photo: Ethan Rogers

The Theta Kappa Nu Panthers surprised the Alpha Theta Pi Razorbacks in 7 vs. 7 soccer earlier this week, coming back from a 3-0 deficit to claim their sixth win of the season. The Panthers have performed well this season, winning five games straight to open the year and suffering just one loss, at the hand of the Cavaliers.

The first half was controlled largely by Alpha. Neither team scored for the opening 13 minutes, but Alpha was able to change that by finding a hole in the defense and putting a shot past the goalie for the first lead of the game. One minute later, an Alpha striker intercepted a Panther pass and drove in another goal, taking a quick 2-0 lead.

The Panthers began to fall back to defense, looking overwhelmed and frustrated. Five minutes after the second goal, Alpha recorded a third goal and things began to look bleak for Theta Kappa. Senior Ethan Sanders of the Panthers looked to make a turnaround for his team, encouraging communication and better teamwork. Four minutes before the half ended, and coming just three minutes after the third Alpha goal, Sanders successfully drove down the field and kicked in a nicely placed goal to place the Panthers on the board. This would be the first of four straight goals for the Panthers, who rallied in the second half.

The second half was nearly all Panthers. With several shots on goal in the opening minutes, the Panthers seemed to be a different team. Nine minutes in, senior Lee Campbell set up freshman Matt Wetmore for a goal, cutting the Razorbacks’ lead to one, for a score of 3-2. Three minutes later, it would be freshman Seth Sanders who put in another Panther goal to tie the game at 3-3 and claim all the momentum.

Keeping the trend alive, Ethan Sanders booted in one more goal for Theta Kappa after a Wetmore header ricocheted off the cross bar, grabbing a 4-3 lead in the Panthers’ favor. Finally, it was sophomore Luke Zockoll who stopped the bleeding for Alpha, tying up the game with just five minutes remaining. Zockoll recorded a hat trick in the match, but it would not be enough to stop the Panthers.

Coming just three minutes after Zockoll’s tying goal, Campbell assisted Seth Sanders for a goal, giving Theta Kappa the 5-4 lead with just two minutes left in regulation. Although the Panthers held on to win the game, Alpha had three scoring opportunities in those last minutes. Senior goalie Drew Redding was there, however, to thwart all scoring attempts and close out the game for Theta Kappa. The Panthers are now an impressive 6-1 on the season.