The Parkdale High School girls’ soccer team reached its second consecutive Class 4A South Region third round with Tuesday’s 6-0 win over visiting Laurel.
The Panthers defeated the Spartans 2-0 during the regular season but made some adjustments that boosted scoring Tuesday. The Panthers, seeded No. 1 in the region’s top section, are scheduled to host Northwestern, a second-round winner over DuVal, in Friday’s section final.
Coach Bret Loes said the 2013 Parkdale team, propelled by good overall team speed, has the talent to go a step further this fall than a year ago.
The Panthers (8-2) went on the offensive from the start Tuesday and kept Laurel under constant pressure. After 15 minutes of scoreless soccer, the Panthers rattled off three goals in six minutes to take a 3-0 lead midway through the first half. They led 5-0 at halftime off four goals from senior Angely Mercado and the first of Jocelyn Gutierez’s two goals. Gutierez added another goal in the second half.
“We did a good job of switching the ball [Tuesday], we switched the ball quite a bit because Laurel has a habit of bunching up on one side,” Loes said. “Our defense is also rock solid. They don’t let anyone get behind them. This team is a better [Parkdale] team than in the past.”