The Lehman Lobo boys soccer team knew what to expect heading into Friday night’s district matchup against the Lake Travis Cavaliers.
In four previous matchups, Lake Travis had outscored Lehman by 19 goals.
“We have never beat Lake Travis,” said Lehman coach Brad Baker. “We’ve never really been in a game against Lake Travis.
But the expectation of a Lake Travis blowout went by the wayside as the Lobos put up a fight in a 1-0 home loss at Lobo FIeld.
“This is the first time I feel like they snuck away with a 1-0 win,” Baker said. “We proved it tonight. It wasn’t the Lake Travis show against Lehman. It was actually Lake Travis against Lehman, which is huge for us. We are building in the right direction.”
Lake Travis’ Daniel Tamkin scored the game’s first and only goal with about nine minutes left in the first half. The initial shot attempt was blocked by Lehman’s goalkeeper, but Tamkin was able to track the deflection and convert the opportunity.
“Their goal counts on the scoreboard, but it’s one of those that I don’t really call a real goal,” Baker said. “I mean, it was a real goal but it wasn’t an earned goal – it was off the keeper’s hands and we missed a slide tackle.”
From there, Lake Travis was unable to build a large deficit it’s accustomed to.
There was an opportunity later in the first half to open the game up when the Lobos goalkeeper collided with a teammate, leaving the ball dribbling towards a Lake Travis player. The result was a goal, but the officials waved it off because he was offsides.
Baker said the offsides call was a momentum shift in their direction.
“I was very impressed with Lehman, honestly,” Lake Travis coach David Bammel said. “The last few years we played them and I felt like we got the better of them but this year they came out and did a good job. They controlled the play and were pressing us.”
From there, Lake Travis was unable to create a larger cushion to separate the two teams.
Lehman, despite allowing 15 shots and attempting seven, remained in striking distance for the entire match.
“They never quit,” Baker said. “They stayed in the game. We got opportunities. They didn’t go in. It was just the luck of the bounce.”
Baker said he emphasized quality over quantity in constructing this year’s roster, which has 17 players compared to 20 or more in previous years. He wanted to ensure there wasn’t much of a drop-off when the reserves entered the pitch.
Against a team they have never beaten, Lehman showed its district foe a glimpse of what is to come in the next matchup.
“We always give them a better game in the second match so I think they are gonna have their hands full,” Baker said. “We’re still young. We’re still getting there.”