Sampson Independent

Midway overwhelms Lakewood

Back on the field for the second day in a row, the Lakewood Leopards soccer team travelled over to Spivey’s Corner on Thursday evening to take on cross-county rival Midway. This game was originally supposed to be the opener for both squads, but poor field conditions from recent storms pushed the game back to Thursday. For Midway, the Raiders are off to a promising start to the season as they blasted the visiting Leopards in a mercy-rule-shortened contest, 10-1.

It was a dominant effort for much of the night for Midway as Lakewood struggled to conjure up much offense. The Leopards lone goal came near the end of the match as Raiders head coach James O’Brien toggled his rotation.

With 17:36 on the clock in the second half, Lakewood finally found separation from a stingy Midway defense and was able to get one of their few shots into the net.

The rest of the story, though, was all Midway.

After the game, O’Brien remarked that he wasn’t particularly pleased with his teams first half performance, despite their 4-0 lead at the end of the half.

“We started off flat-footed. We played decent but I wasn’t pleased.”

Four different players found the back of the net for Midway in that first half. Luis Acosta got things started at the 27:40 mark with Alex Torres following suit just a few minutes later at 23:51.

Sergio Escalera made it 3-0 with 10:01 remaining in the half before Arturo Mejia made it 4-0 with 1:06 remaining before the halftime break.

With such a dominant start and controlling the tempo, the Raiders certainly didn’t appear to be flat-flooted.

Still, though, Midway really ratcheted up their offensive tempo in the second half – a half O’Brien was much more pleased with.

“In the second half, we started passing the ball with purpose and moving the ball more efficiently and definitely found the back of the net more,” O’Brien remarked.

The Raiders certainly did find the back of the net more as they tallied on six more goals to reach double-digit scoring.

Midway’s Luke Pondo had a pair of goals in the second half, both of which stood out for being the first of the second half at the 37:05 mark and the other goal being the game-ender with 7:39 still displayed on the clock.

Acosta, Mejia and Escalera all added another goal each to also give them two goals for the game.

Brandon Medina was the other goal in the scoring column for Midway.

“I’m pleased with our effort tonight. It was a total team effort with everyone seeing playing time. Now we head to face Lakewood again at their place on Monday. They’re a good team so I expect the rematch to be a battle.”

With the win, Midway sits at 1-0 and as O’Brien stated will travel to Lakewood on Monday.

Lakewood also dropped their opener against Lejeune on Wednesday 2-1. Sitting at 0-2, the Leopards will enter Monday’s game hungry for a win.

Game time is set for 6 p.m.

Midway’s Luke Pondo heads the ball during Thursday’s match.
https://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_Pondo.jpgMidway’s Luke Pondo heads the ball during Thursday’s match.
Lakewood’s Trey McLamb battles a Midway player for possession of the ball.
https://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_Trey.jpgLakewood’s Trey McLamb battles a Midway player for possession of the ball.
Raiders mercy-rule Leopards in opener

By Daron Barefoot

Sports Editor

Reach Sports Editor Daron Barefoot at dbarefoot@clintonnc.com