The Central Texas Lobos semi-pro soccer team (3-1) recaptured its stride in a decisive 4-0 victory over Shreveport United (0-4) Sunday at Shelton Stadium.
CTL’s win was a bounce back effort after the team suffered its first loss of the season in its home opener a week previous.
On a blistering hot afternoon, the Lobos controlled the game with a combination of stingy defense and a plethora of scoring opportunities. CTL did so without their goalkeeper and team captain Blake Landon, who suffered a broken leg in the game prior.
“It was vital for us to bounce back and come back and get a win at home,” said Lobos Owner and Head Coach David Walding. “And it put ourselves back in competition for the Western Conference.”
At the 24-minute mark in the first half, Lobos midfielder Jordan Guardado scored the first goal of the game after being set up by two great passes from teammates Alex Lang and Diego Portales. Lang got the play started with a cross pass to Portales, who then touch passed the ball to an open Guardado at the top of the box. Guardado shot a ball past the Shreveport goalie into the right side of the net.
“I just had the opportunity to go to the goal and finish it,” Guardado said. “Thanks to God that I scored, and it was good for the team.”
The Lobos went up 2-0 at the 43-minute mark after a corner set piece from Guardado connected with a header from Lang into the top left corner of the goal.
“He had an amazing cross over from the sideline, they had lost their markers so we had done a ton of practice on headers,” said Lang. “It was all just really natural, just going through the motions at that point. You get so comfortable with doing it repetition over and over again, that it just came in to the right place and I was able to finish it.”
The Lobos extended their lead to 3-0 early in the second half off yet another corner set piece. As a team, the Lobos had 25 shots and 16 shots on goal. Walding emphasized the amount of work the team put on practicing corner pieces and free kicks the past few weeks. The Lobos scored another goal late in the game, capturing the 4-0 win with their attacking offense.
“We’ve been actually working on the set pieces, the corner kicks, and free kicks for about two weeks now,” Walding said. “I’ve been preaching to the guys over the past couple weeks that 40 percent of all goals are scored off set pieces. So we really wanted to work on those set pieces and set the players who were going to take them and how we were going to do them. I think it payed off for us today.”
What also paid off for the Lobos was a stingy defense that only allowed six total shots from the Shreveport offense, including only two shots that were on goal.
“We wanted to make sure to come out with a good, strong defense,” said Walding. “Shut down their attack just so we could be comfortable controlling the game after that and get back to what we do.”
The Lobos are fighting for second place in the Western Conference of the Gulf Coast Premiere League (GCPL) with the Cajun Soccer Club. The Boca Knights FC currently holds the top spot in the west with a 4-0 record.
The Lobos will take on the Cajun Soccer club 5 p.m. June 9 at Bob Shelton Stadium.