The Lakewood Leopards men’s varsity soccer team played host to the Rosewood Eagles on Wednesday night, defeating the Eagles in a surprisingly tight match, 3-2. The win handed the Eagles their fourth straight loss. Lakewood got back on track with the win after losing in another tight game to Hobbton just two days earlier.
The Eagles struck first with a beautiful kick with a little under 32 minutes remaining in the first half, but Lakewood responded with a goal of their own by Kevin Bonilla to tie the game up with 24:11 left in the first half. Neither team would score again in the first half. However, Lakewood had their chance on a corner kick with 21:31 left in the first half, but Rosewood’s athletic goalie, who played exceptionally well all night, was able to leap up into the air and catch the ball.
The score was 1-1 at halftime.
The second half was the Leopards’ to lose thanks to a stellar performance by Francis Flores. Flores put his Leopards team on his back when it mattered most, answering a Rosewood goal with one of his own to tie it up at 2-2 with 22:54 remaining. Yet, Flores would have to wait a good while until he could score his second and final goal, as the game was delayed for 30 minutes due to inclement weather.
Nonetheless, when play resumed, Flores picked up right where he left off, and scored the last goal of the game with a little over 15 minutes left in the match to lead his team to the 3-2 victory.
Lakewood head coach Jay Faircloth praised his team for their impressive defensive play, but was frustrated at the many offensive opportunities his boys had that they did not take advantage of during the match.
“Our defense played well, except for the two goals they got on us — that was a defensive mistake,” Faircloth said.
In order to become more efficient offensively and to score more goals, the coach noted, the Leopards have to learn to spread the ball around.
“You spread the ball around, you score goals,” he said.
Lakewood improves to 8-2 with the win and will play James Kenan at home on Tuesday. Rosewood falls to 4-6 and will look to get back on track as they play host to North Duplin on Monday.