Coming off the heels of a 4-0 victory, Lakewood lost to cross-county rival school Hobbton 1-0 Wednesday night.
Missing two of their starters, Lakewood played the first half of the match defensively out of necessity.
“Tonight, we were shy two starters, but that’s no excuse,” said Lakewood coach Jay Faircloth. “As a coach you have to be ready for this and I dropped the ball a bit. I didn’t have some positions prepared. Some people would see this game and say we played a defensive first half, and we did, because we had no choice. We had a plan that would have put offense more in action but we got stuck in that defensive rut.”
Lakewood looked far more aggressive in the second half, stealing balls and earning scoring opportunities. With only 11 minutes left on the clock it looked as if Hobbton was getting desperate, playing far more aggressively and nearly scoring before breaking through the Leopards defense.
Victor Aguille scored the dagger at the very end of the match, on an assist from Jared Sanchez.
“As a coach, it’s heartbreaking,” said Faircloth, choking up. “I have five seniors that will never get that chance to get Hobbton — it’s there and my last chance and we won’t ever get the chance to beat such a talented team again. Hat’s off to (Hobbton coach) Johnathan (Jacobs), he’s been a real good friend and mentor to me. I’ve learned a lot. These are good boys. They’re going to go far.”
With only four games remaining until the playoffs, the Leopards will be facing Princeton away on Wednesday. Hobbton improves to 13-4-2 and 11-0 in conference. The Leopards drop to 7-10, and 6-5 in conference.
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