Strong Lion team continues to stumble in District
Lions v. Del Valle
The Lockhart Lion varsity soccer team traveled to Del Valle last week for a district match-up against the Cardinals. The Lions were coming off a disheartening game against Hays, and were looking for a rebound.
“Play hard, and be aggressive,” Coach Antoun told his team just before the game.
The match began with the Lions showing life earl
y. The midfield passed well and the defense looked good in front of goalkeeper Jorge Guerrero. Ten minutes into the game, the Lions got the short end of the stick on a questionable foul in the penalty area. Del Valle netted the ensuing penalty kick, and the Lions trailed 1-0.
From there the Lions did well in possessing the ball, but struggled to find an offensive flow. The attack stalled out several times in the midfield even though the Lions were playing extremely hard. Twenty-one minutes into the match the Cardinals earned a free kick from about 35 yards from the Lion goal. The Del Valle player launched a laser of a shot that neatly fit into the opposite top corner of the goal for a 2-0 lead.
Again, the Lions responded with good play, but another penalty kick with nine minutes to go in the half brought the score to 3-0. It would remain that way until halftime.
“They really haven”t broken us down,” Coach Antoun said during the break. “We cannot continue to commit fouls in our penalty area. We”re putting our keeper in an extremely bad position. We need to find an offensive identity. Midfield has to find a way to get the ball to our forwards. Despite that, I think we”re playing pretty well. Jacob is really working out there”
The second half began with the Lions with the wind at their back. The Lions again came out with the ability to pass the ball around, but a bad pass led to a Del Valle corner kick. The kick came in from the left, and after a failed attempt at clearance, the Lions found themselves down 4-0. From there the game was even, with both teams able to link many passes together, but no more scoring taking place. Cody Fehlis put in good efforts, as did Gabe Atwell and Bobby Williams.
Lions v. Hays
The Lockhart Lion varsity boys soccer team faced off against the Hays Rebels on Tuesday, Feb. 6 at Lion Stadium, with the Lions coming out of a hard-fought tie with Elgin and the Rebels walking away from a difficult victory over the Hendrickson Hawks.
“We have to come out aggressive against this team,” Coach Antoun told the team before kickoff. “Play hard and play smart.”
The Lions did just the opposite. The Rebels overwhelmed the Lions from the word “go,” with great passing and excellent movement. The Lions were left to chase the opponents around the field for the first few minutes as Hays was able to move the ball around at will. Had it not been for the tremendous play of keeper David Moore, the Lions would have been behind multiple goals early in the contest. Sweeper Alex Pfefferkorn did his best, but many Lions simply did not defend well to start, leaving the defense in a numbers down situation. With 13 minutes to go in the first half, the Rebels finally broke through for a 1-0 lead. A corner kick came in from the left, and a failed attempt to clear left a Hays player with a point blank shot on the keeper. As the half wound down, the Lions did find some offensive flow, but a bad pass or a pedestrian approach to the game thwarted any efforts to find an equalizer. The half ended 1-0.
“Somebody please explain to me what we”re doing out there,” said a less than happy Antoun during the break. “No one is putting our game plan to work, and some you look disinterested. What”s going on? The good news is that it”s only 1-0, and we have 40 minutes to get back into this game. You have to decide to get it done.”
The second half began a little better than the first, with the Lions able to establish possession on a limited basis. Again, a bad pass or an unwillingness to make runs resulted in several turnovers, but the defensive unit was for the most part up for the challenge. Cameron Peters was able to establish some pace in the midfield, along with the help of Cody Fehlis. Hays, however, was not to be denied. Sixteen minutes into the second half Hays added to their lead. A long diagonal pass caught the Lion defensive right off guard. Moore tried to come out and make a play, but the ball was chipped over the diving keeper for a 2-0 lead. From there the Lions again were able to establish possession, but could not mount a sustained threatening attack in the Rebel end of the field. The game would end, 2-0.
“We are a better team than this,” Antoun said. “If this were our best effort I would have no problem with the result, but that is not the case. The fact is we are a good soccer team that for whatever reason did not come out and play tonight.”
The Lions are at home this week for both games. Lockhart is currently 2-3-2 in district play and 2-5-2 overall.
(Courtesy of Ramez Antoun)