The Litchfield Lady Panthers rode into Carlinville hoping to revitalize their conference title hopes on Tuesday, April 23. The Cavaliers would all but eliminate the Panthers' chances for the league crown, though, posting a 4-1 victory.
The contest was much closer than the final score would indicate. Carlinville would get the only goal in the first half, on a ball sent behind the defense to Annabelle Hulin, who flashed past the Litchfield defenders and chipped a ball over keeper Becky Painter, who made a diving attempt to negate the breakaway.
The Panthers wouldn’t go away and just minutes into the second half, Devan Morgan beat the Carlinville netminder with a laser strike just under the bar from 25 yards out.
With the score tied 1-1, Rory Drew put the home team back on top, with a goal from a tough angle, after speeding down the right side past the Litchfield defense.
Jordan Morgan almost tied the game back up, hitting the crossbar from just outside the penalty area, but that was as close as the Panthers would get.
Carlinville’s Skylar Nickel executed two corner kicks with well-practiced precision, finishing off the visiting Litchfield squad.
The Panthers got exceptional midfield play against one of the best midfields in the state, and had as many chances as the hometown Cavies, but were unable to convert.
The Panthers will travel to Greenville Thursday night, in what could be a regional final preview, as Litchfield will be the top seed in the Greenville Regional starting May 7.
April 23 at Carlinville
Litchfield 0 1 - 1
Carlinville 1 3 - 4
Scoring: Litchfield - Devan Morgan 1; Carlinville - Skylar Nickel 2, Annabelle Hulin 1, Rory Drew 1.
Records: Carlinville (10-3-2, 6-0); Litchfield (9-5, 2-3).