Four goals from Maresa Carter, Maci Schoonover and Sky Reynolds helped the Midlothian High School Lady Panthers top Richland High School during Thursday’s bi-district round shutout at MISD Multipurpose Stadium.

“I think we have one of the best defenses and goalkeepers out there,” said MHS senior Alexa England, a team captain and one of the Lady Panthers’ top goal scorers. “We didn’t start off bad, but I don’t think anyone starts off the way they want. But I have to say I couldn’t be any happier where we are now.”

The MHS girls varsity soccer team, which finished 15-4-4 overall and 9-2-1 in district play, will play Flower Mound High School at 7 p.m. on Friday at Irving High School Football Stadium after the victory against Richland.

“It’s important to keep working hard because it only gets harder,” she continued. “I think as a team we have a stronger connection than any other team that we’ve played so far, making us believe we can win it all.”

Sid Danner, the Lady Panthers head soccer coach, said more than the individual performances on the field, the winning tradition built by his senior class is the biggest aspect that will help them in the playoffs and in future seasons.

“Tradition and the desire to win to keep it that way,” Danner said. “We have girls that desire to be the best and, more importantly, the will to go out and do the work to make that desire a reality. The intensity of the girls’ efforts have increased more as we have moved into the playoffs, since they know what they face is more intense.

“We have tried to possess the ball more than any team we have played and it pays off. The more we keep the ball, the more chances we create and the more times ball finds the back of the opposition’s net,” she said.

The team’s performance has strengthened during the season as new players replaced those that graduated last year, junior forward Brooke Greeson added.

“You’d think that losing a lot of upperclassmen to graduation would have had a bigger affect,” Greeson said. “Our team has adjusted well with the many changes this season has brought. We’ve always had very good moments, but in our first playoff game against Richland, we really figured it out. We have many girls who can score the goals, which makes us dangerous to any team we face.”