The Lakewood soccer team wrapped up non-conference action undefeated on Wednesday, as the Leopards hosted East Columbus in one final game before starting conference play next week.
After a slow start by Lakewood, the Leopards finally came alive late in the first half and throughout much of the second half to post a 6-0 victory over the visiting Gators.
“We just started out flat up top. We were moving the ball well but we couldn’t find the back of the net,” stated Leopard head coach Jay Faircloth.
Their fortune changed late in the opening half, however, as workhorse Francis Flores broke the scoreless tie to give Lakewood the 1-0 lead. A short while later, Lloosman Zabala added another goal to give the Leopards the 2-0 lead at the half.
The second half saw a much more dominant Leopards team take the field.
“I told the team at halftime that our 2-0 lead meant nothing. This East Columbus team was different than when we faced them last time. They were more experienced and were going to put up a fight. We responded well,” said Faircloth.
By the end of the game, Lakewood ignited by posting four more goals to take the 6-0 victory.
Flores continued his impressive play as he was responsible for three of those goals and assisting two more. Zabala, Shawn Andrew and Logan Thomas also each had one goal. Tyler Hobbs recorded the shutout.
“We didn’t do the things we knew we needed to in the first half, but that all changed in the second half. We kept possession for about 95 percent of the half and averaged scoring one goal about every eight minutes,” Faircloth continued.
The Leopards are now set to begin conference play on Monday as they host undefeated Spring Creek. Faircloth admitted that the Leopards can’t get complacent with what they’ve accomplished so far.
“It’s not about skill or stamina — which we have — anymore. Now it’s about being mentally focused because come Monday, the real battle begins,” the coach stated. “We can’t let this record we have now play into anything. I’m proud of them, I’m going to enjoy it for a few days, but then we have to let it go so we can get focused again.”
Game time on Monday is set for 6 p.m.