Leopards fall to Raleigh Charter in playoff opener


By Adam Capps - [email protected]



Lakewood’s soccer season came to an end Wednesday night in their game against Raleigh Charter in round one of the state playoffs. The game was played at Cardinal Gibbons High School after many of the other surrounding fields were too saturated due to the heavy rains over the last few days.

Charter took the game by a final of 3-2.

Raleigh Charter got off to a quick start, despite strong play from the Leopards. They scored a couple of goals before halftime to take a 2-0 lead into the break. They then would score again, early in the second half to go up 3-0 and really put Lakewood in a tight spot.

The Leopards responded well, as Lloosman Zabala put them on the scoreboard with 22 minutes to play, then Jonathan Gonzalez cut it to 3-2 just four minutes later.

Despite having 6 shots on goal in the final 16 minutes, the Leopards could not find the back of the net. Their season ended, but not before they have the hosting team a great game, and showed them who they were.

“We wanted to compete, we wanted to win of course, but if we weren’t going to win, we wanted to make it tough on Raleigh Charter, and we sure did that tonight,” said Lakewood’s head coach, Jay Faircloth. “We hate to see the season come to an end, because it was six seniors’ last game, and it was a great group of guys to coach. I can’t hang my head on this season though. It was a good season, not a great one, but finishing fourth in conference for the first time ever, well that was nice. We have a lot to build on with the guys we have returning, and I am really proud of this bunch of guys.”

Lakewood’s season which included a fourth place finish in the Carolina 1A Conference, ends at 8-10-1 overall.

By Adam Capps

[email protected]

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