Consistently dominant offense Friday paved the way for the Lehman Lobos boys soccer team to permanently etch their mark in the school’s history books.
By virtue of a 4-0 road win over the Akins Eagles, Lehman (17-4-3, 12-2-2) officially clinched the 2019 25-6A title, the program’s first district crown since 2013. At that time, Lehman was competing in the 4A (now 5A) ranks.
It also marks the first time a Lehman High boys team sport has won a district title at the 6A level.
“It’s an unreal feeling. First time in a while bringing it (district title) home to Lehman, it just feels unreal,” said Lobo senior captain Eric Guadarrama.
Lehman utilized an aggressive approach on offense to overwhelm the Eagles from the get-go. The Lobos out-shot Akins 28-12 in the match.
Lobo head coach Rene Medina said his team was locked in and were ready to play from the opening whistle.
“We told them coming into this one, ‘Let’s go earn it.’ Let’s make sure everyone knows that we deserve it and that’s what it looked like at the end,” Medina said.
Lehman leapt out to a 1-0 lead roughly 15 minutes into the match when Guadarrama successfully lofted a shot out of the reach of Akins’ goalkeeper. The Lobo lead expanded to 2-0 following a goal from senior Luis Rangel minutes before intermission.
Second half goals scored by senior Noah Marquez and sophomore Joalbert Palacios iced the game for Lehman.
On the opposite end, Lehman’s defense kept Akins at arms’ length and capitalized on a variety of Eagle miscues and turnovers. Fouls also hurt the Eagles as the game went along. Akins was forced to play with only 10 men after a player was sent off via a red card 12 minutes before halftime.
Solid organization across the field, as well as playing in units, has been the key for success this season on defense, Medina said. The Lobos conceded only 10 goals in district play, which was the second fewest in 25-6A.
“We just make sure we’re using teamwork up and down the field, it’s that whole thing put together,” Medina said.
The Lobos now look ahead to their first playoff appearance in roughly six seasons. Lehman, the top seed out of 25-6A, will take on the fourth seed out of 26-6A in the bidsitrict round of the playoffs. Time, date, location and opponent for that contest has not yet been determined.
Earning the district title was a testament to the hard work put in by the entire team, Medina said.
Rangel, who hasn’t felt such success since earning a district title in middle school, relished the chance to compete in the postseason.
“I haven’t been in the playoffs, but I think it’s going to be great,” Rangel said.