Stone soccer ends season in tourney A

May 10—The Stone Memorial High School Panthers put up a valiant fight last weekend when SMHS battled Livingston Academy in the semifinals of the District 7 Soccer Tournament at DeKalb County High School in Smithville.

The Panthers played solid defense, keeping LA away from the goal for most of the night. And they peppered the Wildcats' goal with shots throughout the playoff contest.

Unfortunately for the black and gold, the Panthers could not hang on to an early lead and fell to Livingston by a score of 3-2 in overtime.

"I thought we kind of dominated things in the first half. I thought we came out playing really well," Grenz said. "We were well rested. We had a very good practice Tuesday. We didn't practice on Wednesday, but I thought we had a good warm up. I thought we looked really, really good."

Stone got on the board first with a goal in the opening period of play. Johnathan Warlick scored from beyond the penalty box with a shot in the 34th minute to make it 1-0.

Livingston Academy came back with a goal in the 51st minute to tie the match at 1-1. The Panthers took the lead again when Tony Mauricio scored in the 69th minute.

However, the scoring wasn't over as LA got the goal back just 2 minutes later to make it 2-2 and eventually send the game into overtime.

Livingston Academy scored again just 3 minutes into the first overtime period to take a 3-2 advantage.

"When I look back at the stats, Livingston had about a 10-minute window," Grenz said. "They had 11 shots for the game, and probably five of them were in a 10-minute segment.

"And then two minutes before they score their first goal, we hit the post, and have two shots that I still don't understand how they didn't go in.

"Their first goal was an own goal by us, but the other two goals they scored were decent shots. Disappointing is the word that comes to mind."

Grenz said after Livingston scored in the extra periods, the Panthers turned up the heat.

"Once they score we tried to attack more. We always attack, but we tried to have a more compressed attack, so that if we lost the ball, we had another guy right behind it," the coach said. "We try to work it through the middle, maybe we skip the midway line to try and keep it up on their end? We didn't really change our approach in the overtime period, but they did give us trouble."

Stone Memorial will lose several seniors who graduate this year. However, Grenz believes the way this season ended may serve as a motivational tool for next year's squad.

"I think the guys are motivated, especially after losing the way we did," Grenz said. "The key is keeping that motivation throughout the summer and fall."