LILBURN -- Iris Gonzalez woke up Tuesday morning with a goal in mind.
"I was not going to lose to Grayson my senior year," she said. "Not after four years."
The Parkview senior made sure it didn't happen.
Gonzalez fired a corner kick in the first minute right to the awaiting head of freshman midfielder Morgan Fleming. Fleming knocked to ball into the net, giving the Parkview girls a 1-0 lead 97 seconds into the match. Gonzalez later added a goal to give the Panthers (7-3-1, 4-0 Region 8-AAAAA) a 2-0 win over rival Grayson.
And make no mistake, it is a rivalry.
"This feels great," Gonzalez said.
Though Parkview has never lost to Grayson in girls soccer, the Panthers typically start slow against the Rams, making Tuesday's quick strike even more of a surprise.
"I really feel like it changed the game a bit in the first half," head coach Judson Hamby said of the quick goal.
On the field, Gonzalez noticed the impact.
"It set the mood for the game," she said. "It took some pressure off of us."
And it transferred all the pressure to the visiting Rams.
But Grayson never found much offensive rhythm, taking less than a handful of shots over the 80 minutes. For much of the game, it was the Panthers' midfielders stopping Grayson before it could build a threat.
"It was just good effort," Hamby said. "They never really let the ball get to our backs."
Leading the effort in the center was the goal-scorer Fleming and fellow freshman Emma Manting and Kristin Telford along with junior Alex Bowen. Their effort, combined with the fullbacks led to another clean sheet for keeper Mariah Garner. Garner made a couple of stops, but spent most of the night booming pass-backs down field to begin another Parkview attack.
With Parkview's endless pressure, the defense for the Rams played well. A set-piece set up the first goal, and until the late dagger from Gonzalez, the efforts from defenders Jeanne Brock, Savannah Selby, Jessica Allen, Josie Ouellette and keeper Cadye Picklesimer held Parkview at bay.
The best effort came in the 56th minute when Parkview fired three consecutive shots from inside the 18-yard line. Picklesimer saved two and Allen deflected another to keep the game 1-0.
"We got a lot of good looks and we didn't finish," Hamby said. "That is a credit to their defense."
Gonzalez added the game-sealing goal with 12:03 left. A hard carom off the foot of a Grayson fullback found the defense and keeper out of position and Gonzalez tracked down the ball and knocked it into the open net.
"It was just not giving up," she said. "It was going for the ball and knowing where the net is and hitting it. And ... a little bit of luck."
Parkview boys 3,
A close game turned lopsided in the final 15 minutes as Parkview scored twice in as many minutes to blow a 1-0 game into a 3-0 win over Grayson.
The Panthers took the 1-0 lead early in the first half, when Abel Nguyen stole a pass near the goal and found the back of the net for the unassisted score less than 15 minutes into the match.
From there it was all Panthers' defense turning away Grayson until Parkview pulled away.
First it was Sami Dikmessalim scoring on a corner kick assist from Raymond Muro in the 69th minute and, then, in the 70th, Muro found a goal of his own to seal the game.
Parkview keeper Diego Casillas took the shutout, including a late save on a Grayson indirect kick from the 18-yard line.