by JOSHUA YOUNG
On Tuesday, the Lehman Boys soccer team soundly defeated La Grange 3-0, maintaining their unblemished record in District 27-4A. Lehman’s win improves their district mark to 9-0 on the year, with the Lobos shutting out their fourth straight district opponent. Additionally, the team notched their sixth consecutive shutout in their past nine games.
On Friday night, the Hays Rebel boys soccer team visited Lobo Field looking to avenge a lopsided 7-1 loss to Lehman earlier in the season.
The intensity of the match rippled through the stands and sidelines, as players readied for a physical contest.
Defense was the overriding theme, as only one goal found the net through the first 75 minutes of action. The Lobos’ scoring tandem of senior forward Eli Guajardo and Diego Garcia eventually overcame the stout Hays defense, as Lehman emerged with a 3-0 victory.
During the first cross-town rivalry game, Lehman took only one minute to score an opening goal. Friday night was a different story. Both sides had scoring chances early on, but not until 23 minutes in did one find goal. Lobos’ junior defender Michael Diers lofted a ball into the box, which was run down by Guajardo, to give the Lobos a 1-0 advantage.
The first half ended with the Lobos holding a 1-0 lead.Lehman withstood several Hays opportunities late in the first half. In the second frame, the stout backline of the Lobos would keep the Rebels’ chances at a minimum, running down long balls and forcing Hays to shoot from distance. The Rebels were able to get several shots on goal, but none could get by Lehman senior goalkeeper Mikey Torres.
With only five minutes remaining, the Lobos would strike again from long distance. This time, junior center back Chris Piedra took a free kick from midfield and struck it into the box, where freshman Diego Garcia was waiting to score. One minute later, with the Lobos on the attack again, Guajardo was able to pull the Hays keeper away from goal and dribble between a couple Rebel defenders to find the back of the net.
For the Lobos, the team effort was focused on the defensive side. Piedra, a captain who also organizes the defense, explained the Lehman defensive philosophy and how it feels to keep the opponent from scoring.
“We defend as a team from the back, to the midfield, up to the forwards. We want to give up as few goals as possible because that only helps us as a team. It’s a great feeling (getting a shutout) because we know we did our job.”
Lehman head coach Jay Sansom was proud of his team’s defensive effort and said they showed a lot of patience on offense. Sansom said he was impressed with the play of the Rebels’ defense after surrendering seven goals earlier in the season to Lehman.
“Hays did a great job defending us tonight and taking us out of our comfort zone. We did not finish some of our early chances, but we stayed aggressive.”
The Lobos are now focused on finishing out the district schedule and taking the district championship. With four games remaining, Lehman has more work to do before looking ahead to potential playoff opponents.
Lehman boys soccer plays the Bastrop Bears at home March 1.