By Kathi Bliss
After a sluggish first round of district play, the Lions came back to the field with a vengeance last week, scoring big wins over Smithville and LaGrange to open the second round of Lion Soccer.
On Feb. 18, the Lions traveled to Smithville to take on the Tigers, and came home with a 4-1 victory.
Lion standout Khalil Karl scored three goals in the game, logging his third hat trick in the last three weeks, according to Coach Joshua Johnson. Victor Ramos added another goal to round out the Lions’ scoring at four.
The Lion defense cracked down on the Tigers, holding them scoreless for the first half, and only allowing one goal on the night.
Earlier in the week, the Lions powered their way to a resounding 8-1 victory over the LaGrange Leopards.
Karl picked a hat-trick during the standoff. Edwin Medina also contributed two goals. Jose Marin, Anthony Martinez and Moises Perez scored one goal each.
As they did on Friday, the Lion defense stood strong on Tuesday evening, keeping the Leopards from finding the goal for the bulk of the night.
Johnson recognized Karl and Mitchell Mcree as two key players in the Lion victory.
“We are on an up swing now, which can continue if we believe and are willing to do what it takes each night to be successful,” Johnson said.
After opening the second round of district play with the win over the Tigers, the Lions hosted Bastrop on Feb. 22, and will host Cedar Creek on Friday, Feb. 25. This week’s play, Johnson said, should be instrumental in determining district rankings as the season winds to a close.