Lion Soccer Advances in Playoffs
The Lockhart Lions hosted a first-round playoff match against Austin Lanier last Thursday, March 23. This marked the third time in four years the Lions have made the playoffs, but the first time the playoff game was played at home.
“What an atmosphere! The fans were loud, and there were a lot of them. There was good energy in the stadium, and it definitely pumped up
the team”, said Coach Robert Ardis.
After a short delay and pre-game introductions, the game finally began. Lanier came out quick and took control of the first few minutes of the game. With the Lions playing into the wind, Lanier was able to keep the Lions on the defensive end at first.
As the half progressed, however, the Lions were able to generate some offensive push thanks in large part to the play of the midfield, led by Alex Pfefferkorn and Seth Guckian. The Lions seemed to get stronger as the half went on, and the defense was more than up to the early challenges. At halftime, the game was scoreless.
“There was really nothing to say at halftime. The defense was organized, and the offense was looking good. It was just a matter of finishing on scoring opportunities and keeping the defense intact”, said Coach Ardis.
The second half began with the Lions playing with the wind at their backs, and the Lanier squad looked a little tired. That was a good combination for the Lions, and in the third minute the Lions took advantage. JC Vogel created an opportunity with a shot from the left side that the Lanier goalkeeper was able to save, but Joey Theriot was there to half-volley the ball inside the right post for a 1-0 lead. At that point, the crowd erupted into cheers, and the Lanier fans got rather quiet.
Upon the reset, the Lions quickly gained control of the ball and kept possession, eventually getting the ball back to Jammer Kellum, the Lion goalkeeper. Kellum let off a 75-yard punt that JC Vogel was able to convert into a goal, giving the Lions a 2-0 lead. Forty-five seconds had expired off the clock between goals. The rest of the second half passed with no more goals, and the Lions won, 2-0. This marks only the second playoff win in the program”s history.
“Everyone played great tonight. Our captains displayed leadership, and the team played an intelligent game. Cody Fehlis was able to overcome sickness and step up on defense, and of course, Jammer was Jammer”, stated an elated Coach Ardis.
(Courtesy of Ramez Antoun)