MUNSTER | Peter Panos plays with reckless abandon on the soccer pitch.
He tries to get in the head of the opposing goalkeeper by creating as many shots as possible for himself and the rest of his team.
A prime example of this occurred in the 61st minute of the Mustangs' 2-1 sectional title win over E.C. Central this past Saturday.
After missing on three separate attempts in first half and up 1-0, the Munster senior forward rifled one from 35 yards after dribbling for a few yards, totally putting off the crowd and E.C. keeper Juvenal Enriquez, who all probably thought he was going to pass it to an open Nik Kajmakoski.
The laser shot wound up going off of Enriquez's fingertips, deflecting off the crossbar and falling right back into the keeper's hands.
After the sequence of events, the crowd got predictably louder and Enriquez wiped his forehead in relief that his team wasn't down two goals late in the game.
"I felt like I'm the one that had to do something because it's my senior year and we weren't gonna be the team to break the (sectional) streak," said Panos, whose Mustangs won a state-record 12th consecutive sectional crown. "I'm always trying to get a shot if I have an opening."
The upstart Cardinals fought back with a fantastic goal from phenom sophomore Francisco Torres, who hooked one in on a free kick from 20 yards away.
Panos wound up getting the best of Enriquez, though, when he connected on the game-winning goal from right outside the 18 after going to the left upper 90.
"Peter was injured a bit earlier in the season, and it's nice to have him back at full strength," Munster coach Jim Prasopoulos said of Panos. "Peter has been on varsity forever and he, like the rest of the seniors, does a lot of things well."
He hopes to keep it up against Chesterton (15-2-1) in the first Class 2A Merrillville Regional semifinal match against Chesterton (15-2-1), which beat the Mustangs back on Sept. 7.
"We've had a lot of ups and downs, but it's a whole new season now," Panos said. "Just because we won a sectional doesn't mean it's over."