The Panthers finished off an eight-day period with their eighth game and eighth victory at Desert Oasis. This was by no means the best Panther performance so far this season but the players can be excused a dip in performance considering the excessive game load. Starting line up: Huckfeldt, Saricayir, Nogues, Lloyd, Lawrence, Stephens, Ruffer, Stevenson, Manthey, Vogel, Montoya.
The Panthers dominated possession in an impressive opening 10 minute spell and they had a number of shots at goal from Presten Manthey, Bryan Montoya, and Mikey Vogel but were unable to trouble the Desert Oasis goalkeeper. Cole Lawrence, in his first game of the season, was torturing the Desert Oasis defense down the left side with a number of surging overlaps and crosses into the box. The break though came after 15 minutes when the very impressive Tanner Stevenson played Manthey into the penalty area with an excellent pass and Manthey shot left footed across the keeper and into the bottom right hand corner of the goal. The game became a little more even for a spell as the Panther wide players neglected their defensive duties and the midfield failed to retain control of the game due to a series of misplaced passes. This resulted in a string of Desert Oasis corners but nothing troubled Hudson Huckfeldt into more than a couple of routine saves. The Panthers doubled their lead 10 minutes before half time after a period of sustained pressure. Desert Oasis failed to adequately clear a Panthers corner. A number of Panther players had attempted shots that were blocked. The ball fell to Montoya who beat a couple of defenders before slipping the ball to Tim Stephens who was unmarked just 8 yards from goal. Stephens made no mistake from close range to leave the keeper helpless. The Panthers had attacked well down the left wing but were too narrow on the right flank and as a result had not made the most of many good field positions in the attacking half. Half time 2-0.
The Panthers dominated the second half for long spells but Desert Oasis proved a threat on the break: Huckfeldt, Olenak, Nogues, Lloyd, Lawrence, Stephens, Ruffer, Stevenson, Manthey, Robledo-Matadamas, Gomez.
The Panthers continued to put the Desert Oasis defense under pressure but on an early counter attack, Desert Oasis scored with an impressive strike from fully 30 yards. While it is easy to be critical of the Panthers for not closing down the shooter, you have to acknowledge a great individual effort when it happens. The Panthers attacked with determination to restore the two goal advantage. There were numerous efforts but none troubled the Desert Oasis goalkeeper. Fifteen minutes into the half the Panthers were awarded a free kick 40 yards out on the left side. Center back Cole Lloyd took the free kick playing a deep ball looking for a Panther head. The ball evaded everyone, including the goalkeeper, and found the back of the net. Stephens claimed the minimal of contact with his hair but the goal was given to Lloyd!
Desert Oasis remained a threat on the break and forced Hudson Huckfeldt into a couple of fine saves. For the Panthers, Zach Ruffer shot narrowly over with a powerful effort and Antonio Gomez was very unlucky not to score when his shot beat the goalkeeper but struck the right-hand post. Manthey and Robledo-Matadamas both went close as the Panthers turned the screw in the last 10 minutes, repeatedly exposing the weaknesses down the left flank. The fourth goal came when Manthey scored with an accurate shot from outside the box after a layoff from Mikey Vogel. The final goal came from Robledo-Matadamas who executed a give and go with Lawrence, cut inside the last defender, and scored hard and low with an excellent left foot shot across the goalkeeper. Final score 5-1.