Cavs dominated, then defiantPublished 10:26pm Tuesday, April 23, 2013
While the Lakeland High School boys’ soccer team suffered a tough shutout defeat against Nansemond River High School in a windy road game on Friday, a narrow 3-2 loss on Monday against visiting Smithfield High School showed they have some fight in them.
With about five minutes or less remaining in the game and the score tied, a foul was called on Lakeland in its goal box, giving the Packers a penalty kick, which they put in for the win. Still, the Cavaliers did not have their heads down afterward.
“The performance on defense is way better than last time against Nansemond,” Cavaliers head coach Nizar Arfaoui said. “The attack too. We were able to score, and we had about six or seven occasions.”
Senior Quedre Willis scored both of Lakeland’s goals, the first coming in about the sixth minute of the game in quick response to the Packers’ first score. Smithfield went ahead late in the first half, but over midway through the second, it was the Packers who fouled Willis in their box, prompting a penalty kick.
“I hit it right down the middle,” Willis said. “I didn’t think I was going to get it, but luckily, something was on my side, and it went in.”
Despite the loss, he was encouraged by his team’s performance.
“We played hard,” he said. “It was a much better game than the last game, so I’m definitely proud of the boys tonight.”
Senior Randy Hollins was a big part of what made the Cavs’ defense so stingy, making some crucial last-second stops to prevent scoring opportunities on the defensive line.
“We wanted to do the best we could against this team, and we wanted to prove that we are a better team than we’re known for,” Hollins said.
He added he was glad to be a part of Lakeland’s defense and issued special praise for fellow defender sophomore Jake Crowell.
“He really surprised me,” Hollins said. “I think it’s his second year on varsity, he’s doing a great job. I think he did really good on defense tonight.”
Arfaoui also mentioned the strong play from his goalkeeper, senior Kyle Jones, along with senior Logan Higbea and senior Colin Rice, for the pressure he applied on offense.
On Friday, the Nansemond River Warriors were able to use the wind to their advantage en route to a 4-0 home win over Lakeland.
“We took advantage of the wind when we had it, and we played strong defense when we were going into the wind,” Warriors head coach Dustin Tordoff said. “So, all in all, I think all aspects of the game were pretty good.”
“The element was controlling everything,” Arfaoui said, referring to the weather.
Four different Nansemond River players scored goals: Yousef Al-Sarraf, Kameron Burnor, Niles Flores and Zach Thomas.
Tordoff was happy with Dustin Telles, his goalkeeper, who had eight saves.
“He got his first shutout of the season,” Tordoff said.
The coach also highlighted the play of sophomore Austin Heyman who played midfield in his first varsity game.
“I asked him to come up and play with us, see if we could get him in the game, and he probably had one of the better games of anybody on the team,” Tordoff said. “He set up a lot of great opportunities and really hustled and worked hard on the outside.”
The Warriors hosted Deep Creek High School on Tuesday night while Lakeland played at home against Indian River High School.