Lion soccer falls to Manor Mustangs as season winds down
The Lockhart Lions traveled to Manor Friday night for a match-up versus the Mustangs. In a previous meeting, the Lions defeated Manor 5-2 with a strong second half and incredible play by sophomore Matthew Carneiro.
“We cannot relax on these guys,” Coach Antoun told the team before the game started. “They have been playing very well lately, and they can beat us if we a
re not careful.”
The game began with the Mustangs and Lions locked up in the midfield, trying to gain a foot up on each other. Play went from end to end, but with no real scoring chances for either team. Twelve minutes in, the Mustangs earned a free kick about thirty yards from goal. The Lions set a wall to defend the right side of the goal, and keeper Mauricio Gutierrez shaded over towards the left. The Manor player sent a curling ball over the wall, and despite his best efforts Gutierrez could not stop it from going in. The well-struck shot gave Manor a 1-0 lead. From there the Lions did push forward and were able to get into Manor”s end, thanks in large part to David Moore and Cody Fehlis, but an inability to find the open man and pass the ball stopped the Lion attack almost as often as Manor”s defense did. With three minutes to until halftime, the Mustangs earned a throw in from the left side. The well-thrown ball was placed right in front of the Lion goal and was headed in by a Manor forward without so much as a challenge by a Lion defender. The half ended shortly thereafter with the Lions trailing 2-0.
“This is a winnable game,” Antoun said at the break. “We”re creating scoring chances; we just need to take advantage of them. Defensively, we need to mark up and challenge for everything. We”ve been saying that all season. We simply cannot allow the other team to win headers without a challenge.”
The second half began with the Lions playing with a sense of urgency. Every ball was challenged for, and the Manor defense was on their heels early. With Alex Pfefferkorn now pushed up to forward, The Lions were looking for some instant offense to help pull them back into the match. Cameron Peters helped solidify the midfield, and sophomore Jacob Berry played extremely well at the stopper position. As the half continued, the Lions had chances to score, but Manor”s defense or keeper stepped up on every occasion. With 15 minutes left the Lions found another gear, and the Lions turned it up a notch. The Mustangs hung an extra defender back to try and absorb the Lions attack as much as possible, and it worked. The half ended without a goal being scored, and the Mustangs won, 2-0.
“We are a better team than this,” Antoun said at the end of the evening. “If we played the entire game as we played the last 15 minutes, the outcome may have been different. We”ve said that too many times this year. We have four games left. Let”s try to get a good streak to end the year.”
The Lions ended last week 4-5-3 in district play and 4-8-3 overall.
(Courtesy of Ramez Antoun)