Photo by Christine Troyke
LILBURN -- Parkview senior Kim Spence set the school's career scoring record with two goals on Wednesday night to lead the Panthers to a 4-0 win over East Paulding in the first round of the Class AAAAA girls soccer playoffs.
Spence scored a pair of goals in the second half, the 85th and 86th of her career, as the three-time defending state champions had little trouble at Karl Bostick Field. Kansas Bayly scored once and had two assists and Stephanie Gutierrez netted the other goal.
"It's a relief," said Spence, who has signed to play college soccer at Auburn, where she will study pre-med. "That was a goal of mine to break the four-year record and to do it in this game felt great."
Spence broke the record held by Jenny Crawford. She needs one more goal to tie Crawford's single-season record of 30 goals.
"That says a lot about her ability that she could break a career record at Parkview, with all the great players who have come through this program," said Parkview coach Judson Hamby.
Parkview controlled the ball for nearly the entire 80 minutes. It seemed like the only time East Paulding had possession on offense was when the Parkview attackers needed to take a 30-second breather. And, when tested, the Parkview defense answered the call to nail down the team's ninth shutout.
"The first round is tough because you want to get off to a good start and the competition is good," Hamby said. "We felt like we had a good shot."
Parkview (16-1-1) broke out of the gate and never let up in the first half. The Panthers pounded shot after shot at East Paulding goalie Kylie Mason, who responded with several nice saves. She went to the ground to stop a shot by Iris Gonzalez and dodged a bullet when Spence pushed a shot wide right in a one-on-one situation.
Mason also got help from the crossbar, both times on nice shots by Elena Karakizis.
Parkview's lone goal of the half was created by midfielder Maureen Buff. She made a savvy pass to Bayly, who beat the diving Mason.
"That first goal of the game changed things drastically," Hamby said. "We did a little better in the second half and put it away. To get a shutout in the playoffs is huge."
East Paulding (14-5) tested the Parkview defense early in the second half, but never got a clean shot on the goal. Parkview soon resumed its relentless pressure, which paid off when Spence scored on a header off a Bayly's corner kick with 30 minutes left.
The Panthers scored again with 25 minutes remaining, again off a Bayly corner kick. This time Gutierrez controlled the ball, stepped to the left and rolled it past Mason and into the net to give Parkview a 3-0 lead.
Spence scored the record goal with 18 minutes remaining with a blast from the front of the net.
The end of the game was marred by an injury to East Paulding senior defender Kemi Ashimi, who fell to the ground after a collision and was knocked out cold. Officials sent for an ambulance and the crew stabilized Ashimi and carried her away. The game was delayed 45 minutes before the final seven minutes could be completed.