The game-deciding goal Friday at Skyview was scored on one of Palmer's favorite plays.
Problem was, it was Skyview's Trevor Barber that scored that goal.
Barber scored his second goal of the game 15 minutes into the second half to lead the Panthers to a 2-1 victory over Palmer Friday.
In the girls game, Palmer's Felicia Sandvik notched a hat trick to lead the Moose to a 5-0 victory.
In the boys game, Skyview started with a stiff wind at its back.
"Our strategy was to try and keep the net empty in the first half," Palmer coach Don Berberich said. "We then were going to use the wind to keep the ball down at their end in the second half."
The strategy didn't quite work out. Skyview controlled play in the first half. Palmer goalie Trent Berberich made five saves in that first half, and the Moose took 11 goal kicks.
All that pressure paid off 23 minutes into the half when Barber received a pass from Matt Matarrese and took a shot from the top of the penalty area with his left foot. The ball squirted under the body of Berberich and into the goal.
"I definitely got lucky on that one," Barber said.
By and large, Palmer then used the wind to control the second half. In that second half, Skyview goalie Matt Stalnik had to make nine saves and the Panthers took seven goal kicks.
Barber made sure the Panthers made the most out of a rare trip to the Palmer end of the field, though.
Fifteen minutes into the second half, he took a pass from Chatchay Apaichak on a restart from a free kick. Without trapping the ball, Barber turned and rifled a shot past Berberich.
It was Barber's ninth goal of the year and gave the Panthers a 2-0 lead.
"That was pretty nice on their part," coach Berberich said. "We've probably practiced that play 50 times this year. It was kind of tough to have it used against you."
After that, Palmer kept the ball at Skyview's end of the field and hammered at Stalnik. The Moose, led by Jared Berberich, owned the midfield.
"We didn't adjust to the wind at all in the second half," Skyview coach Dave Carpenter said. "We were begging them to play the ball on the ground and keep it out of the wind. It was almost like they refused to."
The dangerous living finally caught up to Skyview with about two minutes remaining. The Moose were awarded a direct free kick just outside of the top of the penalty area. Tim West caught Skyview off guard by tucking the ball past Stalnik before Skyview could set up its wall.
But, thanks to Barber's second half goal, the Panthers had enough of a lead to ride out the win.
"We had to get that goal," Barber said. "We were already losing momentum, and that gave us a little bit.
"Then, at the end when we'd lost all momentum, we had a nice cushion."
In addition to Stalnik's nifty work in goal, Carpenter said sweeper Shaun Reeve is a main reason Palmer didn't score more than once.
Palmer fell to 1-1 with the loss, while Skyview improved to 3-0-1 on the year.
Palmer girls 5, Skyview 0
The Moose improved to 2-0 on the year behind the scoring of Sandvik, who is only a sophomore and was Palmer's leading scorer as a freshman.
The scoring came in bunches in the game. At the 24-minute mark of the first half, Sandvik hit Alicia Berberich on a through ball. Berberich beat a charging Morgan Lyons of Skyview for the goal.
Just a minute later, Sandvik got a pass from Berberich at the left corner of the penalty area and lofted a shot over Lyons.
"It's a matter of this team playing in spurts," Skyview coach Tony Lewis said. "I was happy with the first 20 minutes of the second half, though.
"It'd be great if we could play the rest of the year like that."
At the 29-minute mark in the second half, though, Palmer piled on three more goals in a four-minute span.
Sandvik started the barrage with a penalty kick. Three minutes later, Sandvik collected a through ball in the box from Daysha Anderson and scored. Just a minute after that, Leslie Berberich flicked a bouncing ball into the Skyview net.
Palmer's defense also had a steady game. Tara Harrington did not have to make a save in the second half en route to her shutout.
"The thing that saves our defense is that they have great speed," Palmer coach Brian Fish said.
Lewis, whose team is now 1-3, said he was happy with the effort Anne Verba put forth at midfield.
The coach also sees a lot of potential in sweeper Laura Smith. Thursday, starting sweeper Amber Zuck was injured against Soldotna. Smith filled in during that game, and did such a good job Lewis is thinking about keeping her there. Smith had been the backup goalie.
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