The Permian girls soccer team came into Friday’s nondistrict finale against Lubbock High wanting to properly close out the first part of its season.
After a successful string of games, the Lady Panthers finally got to have their home opener at Ratliff Stadium and show their hometown why they have a win percentage over .800.
The final result went as planned as Permian downed Lubbock High 3-1. Yet, Lady Panthers’ head coach Chad Peterson wasn’t thrilled with how his team played, knowing only District 2-6A games remain in the regular season.
“We can’t walk out of here incredibly happy with our performance,” Peterson said. “I think we let a lesser team stay in the game far too long and far too well.”
The Lady Panthers improved to 11-1-1 overall by winning their ninth straight game, but could have made a bigger statement heading into its district opener against Midland High next week.
From the outset of the game against the Lady Westerners, Permian dominated possession — keeping the ball far away from its goal and pressing for the contest’s opening tally.
Lubbock High didn’t force Permian’s hand in any way with an aggressive defense, but the Lady Panthers allowed their opponents to stay in the game through self-imposed errors.
“We have to understand that, yeah, that’s a win, but that’s not us,” Peterson said. “We didn’t get the reputation that we have at Permian High School by altering our expectations.
“It’s going to look really good in the paper and it’s going to look really good to read it, but when push comes to shove, the records and the streaks and all that, it really doesn’t matter if you don’t polish up the way that you play.”
Peterson’s demeanor stems from knowing how much talent he has on the field at any time. For example, usual starting midfielder Alissa Mata missed the game with injury, but Abby Ward stepped in admirably, helping connect passes throughout the game.
The Lady Panthers can also turn to several players coming off the bench to provide a spark. But on this night despite the win, Peterson knows his team could have performed much better.
Peterson points to his teams’ ability to finish games as to where it could improve most with district now in front of his players’ faces.
“One thing that we really lack right now is that killer instinct to where if we have a team on the ropes or you’re playing a lesser opponent maybe, that you really push them over the edge and stand up and assert some authority and end the game quick,” Peterson said.
Permian scored the game’s first goal in the 33rd minute when junior Tobi McCoy broke through multiple Lubbock High attempts to steal the ball and passed it to Jaden Sosa, who ripped the shot into the top-left corner of the net.
The Lady Panthers doubled their lead 10 minutes into the second half after Gabby Galindo slotted the ball between two Lady Westerner defenders — hitting McCoy in stride, who easily finished the play from six yards out.
Permian allowed Lubbock High to score with 15 minutes to go when defensive communication broke down and allowed Cassidi Jimenez to kick the ball into an open net.
Lady Panthers’ junior Natalie Terry scored the game’s final tally with six minutes left in the game on a shot from 25 yards away from goal.
“It was a good relief,” Terry said about her goal. “It calmed everyone down and it let us restart our game.”
Despite the less-than-ideal performance, confidence is still high at Permian heading into district play. Winning 11 of 13 nondistrict games will have those effects.
And the Lady Panthers will want to show that Friday’s outing won’t carry over to district play.
“It’s been good to see that we can still work when we don’t have everything that were used to having,” Terry said.