The Permian boys soccer team left no doubt about how much potential it has Friday night.
After four straight games without a win, the Panthers hosted Lubbock High in their final nondistrict game. They broke out of that slump and then some to dominate the Westerners 6-0.
Before the game was three minutes old, senior Irving Martinez opened the scoring to jumpstart the team.
Then the Panthers (6-6-1) kept finding avenues past the Westerners defense, coming close to scoring again on a few occasions.
“I think right off the bat our energy level was great,” Permian head coach Luis Carmona said. “We haven’t had that energy level in the past four games or so and they came out and had fun.”
Carmona added that the Panthers had shown Friday’s level of offensive consistency in spurts before.
“I’ve been telling them all this time, when we move the ball, we’re a pretty dangerous team,” Carmona said. “They came out with the mindset of letting the ball do the work instead of being selfish and playing for each other and we put our opportunities away.”
Right before halftime, Permian junior Zach Whisenant scored a pair of goals 45 seconds apart to give his team a commanding lead.
Before this game, Whisenant shifted to play defensive midfielder, but kept an attacking mindset. On both of his goals he used an opening in the middle of Lubbock High’s defense to find the back of the net.
“I think going toward district next week, we just have to keep this momentum,” Whisenant said.
Whisenant added that coming into the game, the Panthers’ coaching staff preached that this game set the tone for district play. In that case, Permian picked the right game for an offensive outburst.
“It was a great win since district is next week,” Martinez said. “It hypes us up. It gives us hope and I think we’re going to be ready for district.”
Permian opened the scoring in the second half in the 59th minute when a corner kick sailed over the hands of Lubbock High’s goalkeeper and into the path of Oscar Chaidez, who easily headed the ball into the net from two yards out.
The Panthers didn’t relent after that, constantly pushing for more goals. That breakthrough came with five minutes left in the game when Mohammed Shalabi slotted a shot into the back of the net.
The game’s final goal was scored with less than a minute to go when Hunter Colbert sent a pass across the goalkeeper’s box, meeting Chris Arroyo in stride, who tapped it into the net.
After that tally, the referee waived off the game’s last 23 seconds and blew the final whistle.
“I think we’ve got that positive attitude going into district,” Carmona said. “It’s just great for the kids … We needed this win big time.”
Permian previously defeated San Angelo Lake View 9-0 this season, but because of the timing of this win, the Panthers could see it as their rallying point throughout District 2-6A play.
The Panthers achieved the six-goal performance with three starters (Reese Rivera, Edgar Lujan and AJ Salcido) out of the lineup with injuries.
“I think when we have a good day, I think we can go up against anybody in the state,” Carmona said.