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Lion soccer secures playoff position

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Varsity vs. Lake Travis
The Lockhart Lions Boys varsity soccer team traveled to Lake Travis for a rematch against the Cavaliers. In an earlier game, the Lions defeated Lake Travis.
“Although we are short-handed right now, this is a game we must win. Lake Travis played us really tough last time around, so they”ll be up for this challenge”, stated Coach Ardis.

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The Lions came out sluggish and the Cavaliers started the game playing really good soccer. Almost from the kick-off the Lions were on the defensive, having a hard time trying to defend all of the Cavaliers” attacking players. In the eleventh minute this confusion resulted in a Lake Travis goal. As the Lions reset for the kick-off, one could hear internal bickering between the players. Lake Travis was able to control the ball for much of the first half, and the Cavaliers had many other scoring chances thwarted by the Lion defense or bad execution. The first half ended with Lake Travis ahead, 1-0.
“The team looked tired. I know we are missing a couple of key components of this team, but we cannot dwell on that. What we need to do is focus on who”s here, and how we”re going to turn this game around. A tie clinches our spot in the play-offs. A win cements it”, Coach Ardis said.
The second half began with the Lions showing signs of life. Many good runs were made, especially by sophomore wing Gabe Atwell. With improved play, the Lions were able to move the ball down the field and threaten the lake Travis goal. Five minutes into the half, senior Sam Bussa found senior JC Vogel on a nice long pass. JC was able to bring the ball to his feet and turn with a quick shot that found the goal, tying the game at 1-1. The second half continued and as the half progressed the pace of the game quickened. Atwell made many good runs and junior Seth Guckian literally ran himself into the ground. The game ended without further incident, and the Lions walked away with a 1-1 tie, clinching a playoff birth for the third time in the last four years, all under head coach Robert Ardis.
“Although we are capable of better soccer, we”re happy with a draw. We”ll finish out district against Smithville, (at home on Tuesday), and Vista Ridge, (away on Friday), and get ready for the playoffs.”
Boys JV Soccer Falls to Lake Travis
The Lockhart Boys Soccer teams traveled to Lake Travis to play the Cavaliers in district play last Friday. In a previous match up, the JV fell to Lake Travis, 6-0.
The Lions came out a little flat to open the game. Lake Travis” speed and accurate passing kept the Lions in a defensive mindset for the majority of the first half. Although goalkeeper Mauricio Gutierrez did make many good stops, the Cavaliers were able to take the lead in the 10th minute. With the Lion defense stabbing at the ball, a Lake Travis player was able to dribble his way all the way to the Lion goal and net the game”s first goal. Fourteen minutes later, the Cavaliers were able to work all the way to the Lion goal, and halftime came about with the Lions trailing 2-0/
“I told the team to stop stabbing at the ball. I couldn”t believe that we were playing the way we were. Our problem all year has been consistency. One game we look great, and the next we look like we”ve never played before. We made some adjustments at the half, but unless the team implements these changes, it”s all just talk”, stated a less than happy Coach Antoun.
The Lions came out in the second half with a little more fire in their step. Aggressive play helped the Lions work the ball into the Cavalier end of the field, and better communication and passing helped sustain the Lion attack. Lake Travis was able to counter-attack, and were able to net two goals on goalkeeper Michael Pittman, who despite those two goals played extremely well. The final score was 4-0.
“Again, we left our goalkeepers in bad positions because of less than stellar defensive play, although we looked really good for about the last ten minutes of the game. We have one game left, (Friday at Vista Ridge), and hopefully we can end the season on a positive note”, commented Coach Antoun.

Boys JV Soccer Falls Short Against Dripping Springs
The Lockhart Lions JV Soccer team hosted the Dripping Springs Tigers for a make up game this past Tuesday. Originally scheduled as a bye, the teams decided to make up a game missed earlier this season. In the previous match, the Tigers overwhelmed the Lions and won, 7-0.
“We”ve had a great week of practice, and we are looking pretty good right now,” Coach Antoun said. “They (the Tigers) are going to come in here expecting an easy game. Let”s surprise them.”
The Lions came out facing a stiff wind in the first half. Although the Lions were able to get the occasional offensive push, the majority of the half was played in the Lions” end. Overall, the Lions were up to the defensive challenge, fending off countless attacks, corner kicks, and throw-ins. It wasn”t until the 25th minute that the Tigers broke through for a goal. Back-up varsity goalkeeper David Moore mishandled a short ball on a corner kick, and the Tigers were able to tap it home for a 1-0 lead. That score would sustain until halftime, mostly because of the stellar play of David Moore on several other scoring opportunities. The defensive unit also stepped up in the first half, made up of stopper/sweeper Robbie Clifton and Gabe Atwell, as well as marking backs Colton Vogel, Jacob Berry, and Dusty Pittman.
“We played well in the first half. I thought we did everything right, and that was a gift of a goal,” Coach Antoun said. “Let”s try to pull even in the second half.”
The second half began with the Lions a little more offensive-minded. The Lions were able to use the wind to their advantage, and goalkeepers Mauricio Gutierrez and Michael Pittman were able to launch several big punts beyond the midfield line. The midfield, composed of Cameron Peters and Gaspar Martinez, were able to distribute the ball effectively to open teammates. Sophomore Wade Meier, playing in his first game due to injury, also played very well. But tonight just wasn”t the Lions” night. Gabe Atwell had a good shot off a corner kick stopped by the Tiger goalkeeper, and forward Joseph Perez had a couple of long shots barely deflected wide of goal.
The game ended 1-0.
“We played great! One week ago this same team beat us 7-0, so we have to feel good about the progress we made,” Coach Antoun said. “Hopefully we can continue this progress Friday against lake Travis.”
The JV is currently 3-5-1 in district play and 4-7-1 overall.

(Courtesy of Ramez Antoun)

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