Lakewood wins conference opener, remains undefeated

By Daron Barefoot - Sports Writer

Lakewood soccer was back in action on Monday night as the Leopards opened conference play when they hosted Spring Creek. Both teams entered the game undefeated, with a tie against Southern Wayne being the only blemish on the Gators resume. After a hard fought contest, Lakewood would take the 2-1 victory to keep their perfect record intact.

Most of the first half was back and forth offensively but each team’s defense turned in hard work to hold each other at bay.

Lakewood finally struck first, however, as Leopard workhorse Francis Flores captured their first goal at around the 20-minute mark to take the 1-0 lead.

Each team continued to fight throughout the rest of the half as the 1-0 Leopard lead held at the break.

Leopard head coach, Jay Faircloth, admitted that there were some adjustments made at the half.

“Both teams defenses worked extra hard to stop the ball in the first half,” he began. “Thankfully, we went into the half up 1-0, but it was rough because I don’t think were mentally ready, which is something I had been preaching to them. We made some adjustments, though, and as usual they responded,” he continued.

The second half was another tough defensive battle that yielded Lakewood’s second goal, again at the 20:00 mark. The goal, which was scored by Shawn Andrew, gave the Leopards an insurance goal at 2-0.

With about 8 minutes to go in the game Andrew’s goal proved to be dire as the visiting Gators picked up a goal on penalty kick to close to within 2-1.

The Leopard defense stepped up and held the Gators at bay the rest of the way, however, and would go on to win the game 2-1.

“We had solid play from all over the field in the second half, especially on defense and in goalkeeper Tyler Hobbs,” Faircloth said.

“At halftime there was a lot of finger pointing but the boys responded well and got their heads straight. Spring Creek is a fast and aggressive team and we were able to hold them off.” Faircloth concluded.

With the win, Lakewood improves their record to 6-0 and 1-0 in the Carolina 1A Conference.

By Daron Barefoot

Sports Writer

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