Lady Panthers Soccer Is Out for Another Title
3/7/2015 7:05 PM

The Kingwood Park Lady Panthers soccer program has been dominating their district so far this season only allowing 1 goal and scoring 33. They look poised to win another district title and head coach Jess White is keeping his team involved in every aspect along the way.

Coach White says that the team is experiencing positive growing pains. “The reason I say that is because we’ve got quality and we also have quantity,” he stated. The last two freshman groups that have come in have shown they are all capable of contributing to the program. This year they had to tell some girls that tried out for the team that they wouldn’t be a part of their near future more than any other year in the school’s existence, which means the depth of the program is loaded. Though it does create more problems in the sense that the kids are not all going to be able to play on the field at the same time, so a lot of girls are sharing playing time and with rosters reaching as many as 25, it can get crowded. “I don’t always anticipate on having this kind of depth each year but we’ve got to try and hold on to and develop as many as we can,” Coach White said.

Kingwood Park co-hosted a soccer tournament this year with Atascocita: The Humble ISD Women’s Invitational. They fell to Baytown Sterling 3-1 but recovered and defeated Santa Fe 1-0 and Magnolia 1-0. “Whereas we would have loved to go 3-0 and won our bracket, myself and the girls were pleased with our progress from one game to the next,” Coach White said. The tournament was held at Turner Stadium.

A season ago the Lady Panthers cruised through their district capturing the 42-4A title. In the first round of the playoffs they made it past Baytown Lee 2-0 and in the area round they had no problem with Santa Fe defeating them 4-1 but they lost a key defender, Blair Baldwell, to an ACL tear that game. The next game they ran into Spring Woods. After regulation finished with a 2-2 draw, the Lady Panthers went into a shootout with the Lady Tigers. Kingwood Park remained neck and neck with Spring Woods throughout the shootout but were unable to match the final shot and in the end fell 7-6 thus ending their 2014 season.

This season Kingwood Park is well on their way to repeat as district champions even though they had lost some key players to injuries early in the season. “The biggest challenge for us this year is getting healthy and integrating new parts defensively,” Coach White said. “We expect to compete for a district championship and we expect to have a good push in the playoffs,” he continued. The team believes that if they can get everyone healthy and get into a rhythm, then they can do just as good as they did last year. With players such as Holland Ensminger, who can play defense and midfield and Kobi McNutt whom has taken over the offensive reigns, Kingwood Park feels that they can compete with anyone. “ Kobi has always been good at providing the ball to others,” Coach White said. “Holland has been a very good vocal leader in teaching some of the youngsters what to do even when she was out with an injury,” he continued. “I think we’re going to go really far, we just have to stay focused, that’s our biggest priority. We have a lot of team spirit and get a lot of support from our school,” McNutt said.

Coach White says he tries to run the program as a team effort. “The girls know they can talk to me,” he said. “They see things differently on the field than what I see.” He allows his girls to be as open as possible with him about what they think can be adjusted on the field to gain an advantage.

Jess White attended Sharpstown High School in Houston, TX. He then went to earn his college degree at Baylor University in Waco, TX.

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