A career-high two goals from sophomore Faith Howells Tuesday pushed the Lehman Lady Lobos to a dominant 3-0 home-opening win over the Ann Richards Stars.
For Howells, team cohesion is so far playing a key role for the Lady Lobos who have now won four of their first five matches of the season.
“You can see the bond on the field, the way we connect our passes,” Howells said. “You can see it off the field as well.”
Howells’ goals consisted of a larger Lady Lobo effort predicated on aggressive play from the first whistle to the last.
Lehman (4-1, 1-1) led 1-0 midway through the first half when Howells blasted an open 25-yard shot that soared over the Ann Richards’ goalkeeper and into the net to give the Lady Lobos a 2-0 advantage.
“I took the shot because I saw a wide-open field. That got my heart pumping. I was going to score,” Howells said. “I was ready to score again and play.”
Howells closed the night with a goal six minutes into the second half, giving Lehman an insurmountable 3-0 lead.
Sean Dickson, Lady Lobo head coach, said Howells’ aggressiveness created opportunities, which Lehman relies on. The aggressive play was contagious as the Lady Lobo front line controlled possession and regularly kept the ball in Ann Richards’ side of the field.
“She will not get pushed around on the field,” Dickson said. “She will make you pay for your mistakes.”
Backing up Howell and the Lady Lobo offense was a midfield that limited Ann Richards from making incursions into the scoring third for most of the match.
Encouraging the flow of play through the midfield led to success, Dickson said. He also felt a “stout” back line on defense helped to generate chances on the offensive side of the field.
Howells said strong defensive play, mixed adept passing and regular attacks toward the flanks, paid dividends especially in the midfield.
“They see that (the midfield) as their strength,” Dickson said. “To see it in play today and in our previous games, it’s gotten faster and faster. It’s beautiful to watch.”
As district play begins to ramp up, Dickson said keeping up their pace of play is a primary point of focus.
“We’re doing really good this season, as long as we keep playing how we did tonight and keep up the work,” Howells said.
Lehman hosts district frontrunner Westlake Friday at 7:45 p.m. at Lobo Field. The Lady Lobos follow with a home match Jan. 22 against Lake Travis at 7:45 p.m.