by RAFAEL MARQUEZ
It was a battle for control of the midfield that would see the de facto district champion Lehman High Lobos victorious over the Bastrop Bears by a score of 6-2.
This is the first district championship for any Lobo team since the founding of Lehman High School.
From the beginning whistle, both teams came out to establish dominance over the midfield. More often than not, the Lobos would come out of the midfield with the ball and on the attack.
Lobos’ Diego Garcia was the first to score, at the 29:21 mark of the first half.
The Bastrop Bears tried to respond with a goal of their own, but all of their efforts were thwarted by the Lobos’ defense. The Bears never quite could put together an effective attack against the Lobos, as they were outgunned and outplayed by the Lobos.
Eli Guajardo would score the Lobos’ second goal at the 26:46 mark on a fast break. A light tap sent the ball over the Bears’ goalie and into the net.
The Lobos were continually attacking. The Lobos’ drives ended with a direct shot towards the goal or with an offsides call. The attacks by the Bears usually ended with the Lobos taking the ball away or with the Lobos diffusing the Bear attack in some other way.
Despite that, the Bears, managed to score on a penalty kick at the 17:35 mark.
The Lobos continued to apply pressure, drawing a foul that earned a Bastrop player a yellow card with eight seconds left in the first half. Guajardo cashed in the free kick, but his kick went over the goal post.
At half time, the score stood at Lehman 2, Bastrop 1.
Lehman came out of half time applying pressure again, but Bastrop tightened their defense around the goal. Despite their battening down the hatches, Guajardo managed to beat out the goalie to score the first Lehman goal of the half at the 35:18 mark.
Lehman put on more pressure and drew a foul just outside the box. Through some fancy footwork, Fabian Mantilla, who was to the right of the wall, kicked in the goal.
On a different drive, Garcia centered the ball to Guajardo who scored off the assist at the 22:14 mark, giving Lehman the lead 5-1.
Guajardo would score one more time for Lehman by kicking the ball into the far corner of the Bastrop goal.
Bastrop responded with a late score at the 15:41 mark.
After Bastrop scored, Lehman shut down the Bastrop offensive efforts and took over the game. There would be no more scores by either team, although Lehman players would continued to take shots at the Bastrop goal until the buzzer.
The final score was Lehman 6, Bastrop 2.
After the game, Guajardo said key to winning this and future games will be “good movement in the middle, circulation and keep moving the ball around, not hiding, making good moves on top of the ball, staying onside and scoring goals.”
Guajardo said the team’s goal is to make it to the state championships and continue to bring accolades to their school.
The Lehman Lobos will face off against the Lockhart Lions in their next game of the regular season. The Lobos now stand at 15-0-1.