Lions kick off soccer season with tournament play
The Lockhart Lion Varsity soccer team opened its district season with a home game against Lehmen on Tuesday, Jan. 15. The Lobos dominated the field from the start. Lehman closed the scoring with a 4-1 win.
The Lions went into the Lehman match after a win and two losses in pre-district matches.
From the onset, the Lions were on the defensive against a quick Lobo s
quad. The Lobos were quicker to almost every ball, and every Lion attack down the middle resulted in a loss of possession.
Goalkeeper Mauricio Gutierrez made several quality saves to keep the game scoreless in the opening minutes.
Halfway through the first half Lehmen earned a free kick from just beyond the penalty area. The Lobo player blasted a ball near post for a 1-0 lead.
Two minutes later, Lehmen would strike again after a failed clearance by a Lion defender. The first half ended, 2-0.
“We should be more aggressive and use the width of the field,” Head Soccer Coach Ramez Antoun said. “We also need to clean up the defense. Tighten up on our mark.”
The second half began like the first half ended, with the Lobos setting the pace of play.
The Lions were able to mount an attack when the ball was played wide. Then the Lobos struck again with another free kick that slipped through the Lion goalkeeper’s hands. A penalty kick made the score 4-0.
With five minutes left in the game, the Lions made headway down the right flank. Senior wing Wade Meier got free and made a cross to the mouth of goal, and junior forward Mathew Carneiro was there to put an excellent header just over the keeper’s outstretched hands and into the upper right corner of the goal. The game ended 4-1.
“We are better than this, and we all know it,” Antoun said to his team after the match. “No one is questioning how hard you are playing, but we must play smarter, use our minds as well as our legs. We should all take a lesson from Jose Jaimes,”
The Lion Varsity soccer team participated in the Rebel Cup at Hays High School from Thursday, Jan. 10 – Saturday, Jan. 12. The Lions fell to New Braunfels Canyon 2-1, and defeated Shertz-Clemens 1-0 before the Hays tournament.
The Lions began their tournament play with a 3-0 loss against Austin Akins on Thursday night. Akins quickly established the tempo of the game and left the Lions on their heels. Akins was able to move the ball around with ease, as their players were almost always open. Seven minutes in, after a Lion failed clearance attempt, Akins took the lead 1-0. By halftime, Akins would tack on two more goals.
“We looked flat,” Antoun said. “We can compete with those guys. We needed to see some fire in the second half.”
The Lions came out strong in the second half, challenging for every ball and playing good aggressive soccer. The game evened out, but the Lions were unable to dig their way out of the hole. The game ended without further scoring and the Lions losing 3-0.
“The good thing about a tournament is that you get a chance to play again very soon, Antoun said. “We’ll play better tomorrow.”
On Friday, the Lions squared off against Pleasanton. From the beginning the Lions seemed rejuvenated and aggressive. Three minutes into the contest, the Lions pulled ahead. Junior Mathew Carneiro made a great cross to junior Michael Williams, who placed an excellent shot into the net. The game remained 1-0 until halftime.
“We are dominating this game, but we only have one goal to show for it,” Antoun said. Let’s put that team away in the second half.”
The Lions continued the domination in the second half. Halfway through the second half, junior James Raquet put a nice diagonal pass into William’s run, who finished the play for a Lion 2-0 lead.
The Lions struck again when Williams put a nice pass through to Carneiro, who netted the ball. The Lions won, 3-0.
The Lion defense including Robbie Clifton, Bobby Henrikson and Colton Vogel smothered the opposing attack at every turn.
On Saturday, the Lions took on Austin Crockett. The Lions came out aggressive, but that quickly faded as Crockett was able to establish their tempo. In a defensively poor first half, the Lions found themselves trailing 3-0.
Had it not been for junior Lion goalkeeper Mauricio Gutierrez, the deficit would have been much greater.
“We have to play smarter,” said a less-than-happy Antoun. “Going vertically down the field will not work. We need to play some defense!”
The second half began better than the first. The Lions scored three minutes in. Senior Jose Jaimes played a great ball through to Carneiro, who put the ball in the back of the net. Unfortunately, the first half deficit was too great, and the Lions lost, 3-1.
The Lions are 0-1-0 in district play and 1-3-0 overall. The Lion’s next home game will be against Elgin at Lions Stadium on Friday, Feb 1.
(Courtesy Ramez Antoun)