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Plant girls soccer coach gets 200th victory

Special correspondent
Published:   |   Updated: March 13, 2013 at 05:48 PM
TAMPA -

There was little fanfare — just a handshake and nod of congratulations from opposing coach Denis Vukorep — as Plant's Pam Smith got her 200th career win as a high school coach after the Panthers topped district foe Wharton 1-0 on Thursday at Dads Stadium.

For Smith's team, it was a quality win that kept Plant (11-1-1) undefeated and atop Class 5A-District 7. Smith was not mobbed by players, there was no Gatorade bath and no acknowledgement from the game's announcer. The lack of celebration was mostly by design — Smith didn't even tell her players about the impending milestone.

"A couple knew something about it, but I didn't want to bring it up," Smith said. "A district game here and a district game with Bloomingdale coming up (Dec. 18) and I didn't want to add anything more than that on them."

The win, which made Plant to 4-0-1 in the district, came as the Panthers took advantage of one of their early opportunities when midfielder Caroline Bado sent a 40-yard pass to the far corner of the box in the 30th minute and senior forward Jayne Hagan sent in a right-footed chip shot for the only goal.

"It was a little lucky," Hagan said. "My right foot isn't my dominant one, and I turned and luckily lobbed it over the keeper's head, but it was really planned."

Wharton had a number of chances in the second half but failed to convert. Senior Leah Chisolm sent a pass across the front of the goalkeeper's box in the 55th minute, while a pair of chances from senior forward Ashni Deschenes were handled by Plant keeper Kara Looby 10 minutes apart.

"Looby had some great saves late in the game," Smith said. "If you don't have strong keeper to make key saves late in the game, this is a 1-1 district game."

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