by MOSES LEOS III
Friday night’s final district game for the Lehman Lady Lobos was on the road at Lockhart. While it was a defensive stalemate, Lehman finally got on the scoreboard in the final minutes, winning the game 1-0.
Both squads had difficulty working their offense beyond the opposition’s defense during the game, as the play remained scoreless until Lady Lobo sophomore Pressley Bailey broke through late, scoring in the waning moments.
The Lady Lobos finish district play with an 8-2-2 mark, with the playoffs now a near certainty. The Lobos must now wait for their final positioning, as they could move into second in 49-4A should Hays fall to or tie Giddings. Lehman’s final game of the 2013 season will be a non-district contest at Akins on Tuesday.
Two days prior to the Lockhart game, the Lady Lobos celebrated Senior Night at Lobo Field, as five seniors were recognized in their final home game of their careers
It was a memorable evening, as senior Mariah Tamayo, sophomore Pressley Bailey and junior Max Soto scored two goals each in Lehman’s 6-2 victory over Giddings.
Early on, the Lady Lobo offense moved the ball well, utilizing adept passing and smart play to push their attack. Lehman’s aggressive style allowed the team to manufacture numerous scoring chances, some well beyond 20 yards from goal.
Defense also played a mitigating factor in the Lady Lobos’ success. The team’s ability to keep Giddings from working beyond the midfield aided many of Lehman’s counter attacks.
But despite the myriad of shots, the Lady Lobos could not find the back of the net early in the game. Persistence by Lehman paid off, as Bailey scored the first goal with one minute left in the first half, giving the Lady Lobos a 1-0 halftime lead. In the second half, the Lehman offense’s constant forward movement provided ample scoring opportunities.
From the 38-28 minute in the second half, Tamayo, Bailey and Soto found the back of the net, with all of the shots occurring from long range, or off set pieces. Before anyone could blink, the Lady Lobos’ lead ballooned to 4-0.
“Mariah (Tamayo) and Pressley (Bailey) see the field really well,” said Soto, who applauded the gameplay of her teammates. “They are both an asset to our midfield. Both players play great on the offensive and defensive side.”
Giddings concocted two late goals, but the Lady Lobos’ lead proved to be too much. Tamayo and Soto capped off the night with stellar goals from long range, allowing Lehman to cruise to a big win.
“(This victory) was an effort from all 11 players on the field tonight,” Bailey said. “We all did a great job on offense and defense.”
The Lobos’ win was also instrumental for Soto, who now has 21 goals this season, tying the Lady Lobo single season goal mark. “This (game) was a big one for me. It tied Dominique (Jaquez) season scoring record,” said Soto. “Soccer is about taking risk. I took that risk, as did Mariah (Tamayo) and Pressley (Bailey). We took many long shots and succeeded on them.”
Lehman’s win also marked the final home game for five graduating seniors. For Lehman head coach Nauri Garica, the evening was bittersweet.
“It is a beautiful memory when you share a moment like that with athletes you spend so much time with. I saw those girls every day for four years,” he said, adding, “We do not think of senior night as a goodbye. Rather, we think of it as a celebration.”