A rainy night and a tough Hallsville Lady Bobcats team weren’t enough to stop the Lady Panthers as Lufkin fought its way to a 1-0 win in District 16-5A soccer action on John Outlaw Memorial Field at Abe Martin Stadium Tuesday night.

Idalia Hernandez scored a long-range goal from 30 yards out, and the Lufkin defense made that score stand up in running its record to 4-0 in district.

“It was a tough game against a very good and well-coached team,” Lufkin head coach Antonio Encarnacion said. “The girls were able to get a win on a tough night.”

Following the goal, Mia Lila proved to be a strong final line of defense in goal with a pair of nice saves, while the Lufkin defense limited the rest of the scoring opportunities.

Lufkin will travel to Whitehouse at 6 p.m. Friday.

Panthers 4, Hallsville 2 — Forty minutes of soccer left the Lufkin Panthers’ undefeated season in serious jeopardy.

Luis Flores answered every question after the break as he scored four goals in a 20-minute span, erasing a 2-0 deficit while sending the Panthers to a 4-2 victory.

Nothing seemed to go right for the Panthers in the opening half. In a game played in rainy conditions along with 40-degree temperatures, a Lufkin red card left the Panthers playing with 10 players for the game’s final 47 minutes.

Coupled with a 2-0 deficit, the Panthers faced an uphill climb.

“It was freezing cold with tough conditions all around for both teams,” Lufkin head coach David McPherson said. “We made a few mistakes and they capitalized. We made a few adjustments at the half and the kids responded.”

However, it wasn’t too much for Flores. He got his first goal on a penalty kick early in the first half before hitting the crossbar on a second attempt five minutes later.

Undeterred, he took a pass from Adan Hernandez for his second goal, which tied the game.

Jan Aguilar assisted on his third goal that gave Lufkin a 3-2 lead. Emanuel Gelarza assisted on the final score that made it 4-2. Flores took a seat with 12 minutes remaining after playing only 28 minutes in the contest.

“They had four players trying to hold him, and he was still able to do that,” McPherson said. “Our offense finally figured it out.”

Hallsville was given a red card in the second half as the game finished 10-on-10. Lufkin also finished the game with position player Juan Hernandez in the goal.

Lufkin (11-0-3, 3-0-1) stayed on top of the district standings with the win. The Panthers will host Whitehouse at 6 p.m. Friday.

Josh Havard’s email address is


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