Sterlington 8, Tioga 0

Improving to 4-0-1, the Sterlington Lady Panthers eased past an overmatched Tioga side 8-0 Saturday afternoon.

Sterlington began peppering away at the Tioga net in the first minute as defender Natalie Martin stopped two shots in front of the net.

Sterlington wouldn't be denied for long, however, as Maddie Lawhon sent an 8-yard, left-footed shot into the left side of the net just six minutes in.

Tioga, meanwhile, did not cross midfield until the 18th minute when its lone shot rolled harmlessly into the outside netting. Otherwise, Sterlington keeper Ana Hodnett had the day off.

Sterlington began to separate midway through the first half when Mollie Sims and Shelby Moore scored four minutes apart.

Sims lofted a 20-yarder from the left side into the far corner of the net and Moore buried a penalty pick for a handball from the 12-yardline to put the Lady Panthers in command 3-0.

Bel Coley's 16-yarder from the right side in the 30th minute helped Sterlington expand its lead to 4-0 at intermission.

With Lawhon and Sims adding their second goals, the Lady Panthers quickly upped their advantage to 6-0. Lawhon scored from 20 yards out and Sims found the net on a corner kick from the left side in the 49th minute.

Capping a three-goal effort, Coley scored twice from close range to put the eight-goal mercy rule into effect.

"Bel really played well today," Bruscato said.

Lawhon (2) and Emma Grace Brister were credited with assists.

Saturday's outing was a tuneup for the Lady Panthers, who wrap up a four-game homestand with fixtures against Neville on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. and West Monroe on Thursday at 5.

"I was just telling the girls, next week is a big week for us," Sterlington coach Lori Bruscato said. "We've never played West Monroe in varsity, and we have never hosted Neville's varsity. We're excited about those games."

Sterlington has allowed only one goal through its first five outings. Since playing Ouachita to a scoreless draw, the Lady Panthers have strung together consecutive wins over West Ouachita (1-0), Ruston (5-1), Evangel (4-0) and Tioga.

"Our defense has really been solid," Bruscato said. ""Our defense is starting to push up and play offense. Lauren Wright has been phenomenal in the backfield. Our two seniors, Gray Grunsky and Lauren, have really stepped up. Their leadership shows up on and off the field."