At Paschal High School, chemistry isn’t just a science studied in the classroom – it’s part of a winning formula on the soccer field, according to several team leaders.

This year the Paschal girls’ soccer team achieved a goal that eluded past teams by winning the area championship.

The Panthers defeated Lubbock Monterey High School 3-2 in overtime at Abilene Wylie High School to advance to the regional quarterfinal.

Senior Madeline Hamm, a forward committed to Texas Christian University, scored the game-winning goal. The Panthers lost in the regional quarterfinal in shootouts after a 1-1 tie in regular play.

The team’s overall record this season was 15-6-3.

This season was Jason Grammer’s first as head coach of the Panthers. He replaced Rick Adams, who resigned in April of 2011after a district investigation found that he spanked a female student, sent inappropriate text messages to students and sold snacks and drinks from his classroom.

Grammer said he attributes his team’s success this season to the hard work and dedication of the girls.

Hamm and senior Rebekah Tovar, a midfielder committed to Houston Baptist University, credit their success to something different: Ham and Tovar said their success was due to team chemistry. The team had many bonding events, Hamm said.

“We went to lunch every Tuesday, we had team dinners before games, we hung out on the weekends, and we went on a team ranch trip,” Hamm said.

Tovar said it was like a sisterhood.

Grammer said he could see the chemistry right at the beginning of the season.

“The senior class was such a large group, and you could tell they loved each other,” he said.

The team will be without those seniors next year. Coach Grammer said he thinks they will still have a good season.

“The team will be much different, but I am confident in their ability. We have a lot of skilled players; they will just be younger,” he said.

The squad had 14 seniors on it this year.