After a rough start to the season, the Leopards men’s soccer team won against North Duplin 2-1 on Wednesday.
Coming so close to victory last week against Hobbton to only lose in a 7-6 penalty shootout after drawing in regulation 1-1, the Leopards have continued to build up steam and finally pulled out of their losing streak.
“Last week was a heartbreaker against Hobbton,” said Lakewood coach Jay Faircloth. “I saw what we had last week and I told Coach Jackson, we got something here. We got a good little group of boys — they’re young, they’re fireballs. I’m very happy with them tonight. We did good offensively, we passed the ball well. Defensively we did well, Tyler Hobbs had a good game, my holding backs Jorge Ramirez and Carlos Estrada did well — I like how they played to the middle instead of giving it to the defense.”
The Lakewood goals were made by Rafael Pena and Edwin Vanegas. Pena also had one shot and one steal, while Vanegas had six shots and seven steals.
The rest of the team stats included Estrada, four shots and six steals; Hector Valenzuela, six steals; Logan Thomas, one shot and five steals; Erick Garcia, one shot and eight steals; Luis Maradiaga, four shots and two steals; Yiovanni Rosar, one assist and four steals; Ramirez, one shot and six steals; and Jason Valera, with four steals.
“Hobbton always has a good team.” Faircloth said. “After the second round of PKs, I saw something in my boys I hadn’t seen all season, and that’s good for a coach. The fire they had last Thursday, they had it tonight and with it, we’ll be able to play any game, win or lose.”
“The biggest turning point I think is the games we played in non-conference. To play those bigger schools, more talented schools with a young team was pretty good,” Faircloth said.
Lakewood (2-6 overall, 1-1 in conference) was scheduled to travel Thursday to play Princeton.
Reach Chris Froat at email@example.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.