After the holiday break, the Destin Marlins put the visiting Davidson Panthers away 5-2 in girls middle school soccer action Monday night.
With the wind blowing off Choctawhatchee Bay, the 49 degree temps felt like 45 degrees, but the teams managed to play through it as a handful of fans were bundled up in the stands.
“We haven’t been together because of the Thanksgiving break, so the rust showed a little bit, but they stuck with it,” said Destin Coach Demetris Stevens. “You could see that they remember how things are supposed to be done ... but they are not quite game-sharp still.”
Nevertheless, the Marlins got on the board in the first three minutes on a goal from Keelie Kleppinger.
Five minutes later, Destin struck again. Ally Dowdy passed the ball over to Jareny Enriquez, who kicked it in right up the middle for a 2-0 game.
With a little less than 14 minutes to go in the first half, Davidson finally got a ball in the net for a 2-1 game.
In the last 30 seconds of the first half, Hannah Squire scored her first goal as a Marlin on a pass from Enriquez for a 3-1 lead at the half.
After the break, Destin again came out and scored in the first two minutes of play on a kick from Enriquez.
Davidson scored one more goal about midway of the period to cut the lead in half.
Not to be out done, Destin scored one last time in dramatic fashion. With the ball within striking distance, Kleppinger booted a shot that hit the bar. Audrey Hill followed up with a shot that hit the cross bar. Not giving up, Hill headed the ball back into the net for her first goal of the season and a 5-2 game.
“It was overall a pretty good team performance and I was proud they came out with a victory,” Stevens said.