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Lions gain growth, experience against Hendrickson Hawks

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The Lockhart Lions varsity soccer team looked to keep the ball rolling as they traveled to Pflugerville to play the Hendrickson Hawks. The Lions are coming off a district win against Smithville and a tie versus Lehman.
“We”re learning on the go,” said Coach Ramez Antoun. “We”re getting better with each game, and everyone is learning their role. This should be a good t

est.”
The game began with the Hawks taking control in the midfield. The Lions could win possession, but the defense was up to the challenge. Goalkeeper David Moore made quality saves early, and stopper Alex Pfefferkorn organized the defense, keeping the game scoreless through the first few minutes.
As the first half went on, the Lions seemed to find their stride on the turf field. The midfield came alive, thanks in large part to junior Jorge Guerrero and sophomore Cameron Peters. Both midfielders did a tremendous job of controlling the pace of the game with good dribbling and great passing. Senior captain Cody Fehlis also helped out in this area. As the first half wound down, the Lions had a couple of scoring chances, but nothing would come of it. The Hawk defense or the Lions” inability to get a shot off ended the half in a scoreless tie.
“We look good,” Antoun said. “Defensively, we have to mark up tighter. We cannot allow them to turn towards our goal without a challenge. Offensively, we have to shoot the ball. Stop trying to dribble the entire defense and let the ball fly!”
The second half began with Guerrero in goal and Moore on the field, as most games have gone thus far this season. The Hawks made halftime adjustments which allowed them to again possess the ball for the first few minutes of the second half, but once again the Lion defensive unit was up for the challenge. But that would change as the game went on. With fifteen minutes left, the Hawks took the lead with good combination play down the right side coupled with undisciplined defense made it 1-0. The Lions showed resilience, and six minutes later it paid off. Fehlis made a tremendous through pass from the right side to a streaking Pfefferkorn, who had made a 60-yard run from the defense. The pass met Pfefferkorn in stride, and Pfefferkorn netted the shot to tie the game, 1-1.
From there, the game turned into a end-to-end flurry of excitement, with both teams having opportunities to score and both defenses making plays to disrupt the offense. With two minutes left, the Hawks quickly played the ball in from the keeper. The Lion defense failed to clear the ball when they had a chance, and the Hawks had a breakaway on the Lion goal. Despite his best efforts, Guerrero could not come up with the ball, and the Lions fell behind, 2-1. The Lions desperately tried for the equalizer, but to no avail. The game ended 2-1 in favor of the Hawks.
“Great game everyone,” Antoun said after the game. “We”re playing better, we”ve just got to play smarter on defense. Keep your heads up, you have nothing to be ashamed of.”
The Lions are currently 1-1-1 in district play and 1-3-1 overall. Their next game is Tuesday at home against the Manor varsity and Hays JV-B.
(Courtesy of Ramez Antoun)

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