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March 25, 2009 > Panthers and Breakers remain unbeaten

Panthers and Breakers remain unbeaten

Submitted By Coach Paul Dunn

On Saturday, March 21, the only two undefeated teams in Fremont's girls U-15 House League - the Panthers and Breakers - met for the first time, and both would maintain their unblemished seasons.

The 8 a.m. start was obviously too early for the Panthers, as they came out slow and were constantly beaten to the ball by the aggressive Breakers players. As a result, the early stages of the game were played almost entirely in the Panthers half; Panther keeper, Meghana Paranjpe, had to be on her toes at all times.

Breakers' Alisa Prathanadi and Sophia Law did a good job of moving the ball forward, and it was no surprise when, after another hesitant Panthers clearance, a Breakers midfielder was first to the ball and scored on an unstoppable shot.

The Panthers' best opportunity came when Rhian Dunn collected the ball on the edge of the Breakers' 18-yard box and took a hard left-footed shot which the goalie parried around the goal post for a corner. At halftime, the Break led the Panthers, 1-0.

The Panthers started the second half with more passion, but the Breakers scored their second goal only minutes into the half on a breakaway to take a 2-0 lead.

After letting up the second goal, the Panthers became more aggressive and pressed the ball forward into the Breakers' half of the field. On their next attack, the Panthers repeatedly threatened the Breakers' goal: first, Erica Ohye tried to head the ball towards goal; then Molly Cory kicked the ball off the crossbar; and the barrage of shots ended when Sarina Utamsing poked the ball into the net, only to see the goal disallowed when the referee determined that the ball had previously gone out-of-bounds.

During the melee, Ohye was injured and had to leave for medical attention. Utamsing moved up to forward and Sangeetha Srinivasan was subbed in to help the midfield.

Within minutes, Utamsing had single-handedly tied the game. First, she took a powerful shot from the left flank; and then, to nod the game at 2-2, she pounced onto a Dunn throw-in to poke the ball home from about five yards out.

Even before the Panthers had finished celebrating, the Breakers re-established their lead on a powerful volley from a corner into the roof of the net, making the score, 3-2.

With less than five minutes remaining, the Panthers pushed forward again, and Utamsing completed her hat-trick with a long-distance lob over the stranded Breakers keeper, tying the game, 3-3, where it would end.

Utamsing almost capped off an amazing day when, in the final seconds, she powered past her defender into the Breakers' goal area and was just about to shoot as the referee blew the final whistle to end the game.

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