Panthers pound Southern
Dinopoulos scores five goals as field hockey team reaches 1A South final
The Patuxent Panthers field hockey team may be the defending Class 1A state champions, but that does not stop them from playing each game with a tremendous amount of focus as the experienced team aims to go out on top again this season.
“I have nine seniors and they really want to push forward on this and that is all they have pretty much talked about all year,” Patuxent head coach Lynn Powell said. “So their focus is pretty laser tight right now.”
The Panthers were able to down the visiting Southern Bulldogs from Anne Arundel County by a score of 8-1 in the Class 1A South Region Section I final Monday night.
“We knew coming out obviously Southern had a good record and had a good season, so we just had to make sure that we came together and passed and really had some unity on the field,” Powell said. “That is what we have
been working on all year. It is starting to come together obviously.”
Senior Mack Dinopoulos scored the first three goals of the game for either team and added two more in the second half.
“We went into this game knowing if we did not win, we would not have anymore games,” Dinopoulos said. “So we were obviously pretty hype from that and we usually are.”
The Panthers (13-0 overall), the top seed in Section I, are attempting to reach their third state final appearance in four seasons.
“I think we did really good as a team,” Panthers senior Savannah Gearhart said. “We definitely stepped it up a notch. We go into different phases as we go through the playoffs, and this was phase two.”
Patuxent is scheduled to host a familiar La Plata Warriors team on Wednesday in the 1A South Region final. La Plata advanced by edging Lackey 2-1 in the Section II final on Katelynn Gordon’s tally with six seconds left in regulation.
This game will feature a rematch of the SMAC
championship game in which the Panthers blanked the Warriors 7-0 and secured the title.
“We just have to make sure we come out pretty much looking at each other,” Powell said. “We pride ourselves on being connected on the field and working together and that whole unity situation.”
Patuxent led 4-0 at halftime after freshman Riley Eells added a late goal with about two minutes remaining.
“It wasn’t just because I scored the goal, it was because I had the girls
on the field with me to support me and love me,” Eells said. “The dedication they give to the game and how they make me feel welcomed really makes the goal twice as better as it actually is.”
Patuxent is an experienced team with nine seniors, but get contributions from players up and down the roster. Freshman Abby Alderman and junior Zoe Elliott scored the other two goals for the Panthers.
“We definitely stepped it up and had really good passes and played as a team,” Gearhart said.
“We never back down, so I think we are going to have a really good rest of the season. I am excited.”
Coming into the game, the Panthers had not surrendered a goal all season.
Southern, the second seed in the section, was able to take something away from the game besides the win when senior Emily Kissinger found the back of the cage for the first time on Patuxent all season with just about two minutes left in the game to end the Panthers’ shutout streak.
The Patuxent Panthers huddle together during a timeout in the first half of Monday’s 8-1 win over the visiting Southern Bulldogs.
Patuxent’s Riley Eells, front, and Savannah Gearhart, left, get ready for the ball to come into play from the sideline in the first half of Monday night’s 1A South Region section final. The Panthers advanced to the region final with their 8-1 win over the visiting Bulldogs.