Lakeland soccer gets big winPublished 10:33pm Wednesday, May 8, 2013
King’s Fork, Nansemond River to battle for playoff berth
The Lakeland High School boys’ soccer team ended its season on Tuesday with its second win of the year.
Though visiting King’s Fork High School was on the losing end of the 3-2 final score, it will face Nansemond River High School in a tiebreaker on Friday to determine which team will go to the district tournament.
Cavaliers head coach Nizar Arfaoui was pleased to have his team go out with two consecutive wins, but he could not help but think of missed opportunities in Tuesday night’s game.
“It was an excellent performance, but we lost too many chances to score, and that’s why we should have won (by) more,” he said. “The score doesn’t reflect the opportunities that we had if we did score.”
Lakeland capitalized on only three of 11 shots on goal, but those numbers were also easy to contrast against Monday’s dominating win versus Deep Creek High School.
“Basically, they used about 80 percent of the chances they got during the (Deep Creek) game, which was reflected in the score — they won 8-0,” Arfaoui said.
On Tuesday, freshman Jordan Hollins scored twice in the first half to get Lakeland out in front early. Then senior Bo Lawrence of the Bulldogs responded with a goal in the first half and another early in the second.
The score was locked at 2-2 until Lakeland senior Qadree Willis fired in a shot with less than four minutes to play.
King’s Fork head coach Todd Gidley could feel the absence of two of his starters, forward A.J. Jenkins and fullback Nick Hummel. Gidley said that while the Virginia High School League requires that players receiving red cards for non-violent infractions be suspended for one game, King’s Fork adds one on, which in this case, included the Lakeland game. Gidley said they could have made a difference.
“I don’t think that that third goal would have been scored on Lakeland’s part, and I think that we may have scored the third,” Gidley said.
For the Cavaliers, Arfaoui said that his team performed well this week, because it finally had everyone healthy and in action. Jordan Hollins had been out with a back injury, and senior defensive stalwart Randy Hollins also had missed time with an injury.
Arfaoui credited Willis and Jordan Hollins on offense and praised the defensive efforts of Randy Hollins and senior Devin Winslow.
“If the defense was not ready last night, I don’t think we would have won,” he said.
Both Arfaoui and Gidley noted the good play of Bulldogs’ goalkeeper Hayden Griffin, and Gidley was particularly pleased with forward Quamain Knight, whom he said excelled in a rare defensive role on Tuesday.
Gidley and the Bulldogs had thought their season to be over with the loss, but they found out on Wednesday afternoon that it would live on.
“My challenge isn’t physical, my challenge at this point is mental, because last night on the bus, my kids turned the light switch off, and they’re ready to wash the jerseys and turn them in, we’ll call it a good season,” he said. “So, now 24 minutes ago, they got news that they’ve got to ramp it up and play again tomorrow, and it’s worth everything. They’ve never been to the playoffs in the history of this school — 10 years.”
Every starting player for King’s Fork is a senior, and Gidley would love nothing more than for them to make school history.
“They’ve been here all four years, and it just would be fantastic for them to make the playoffs and be able to hold their head up high and be proud of that,” he said.
King’s Fork (5-8, 3-6) faces Nansemond River on Friday on the neutral field of Lakeland High School at 5:30 p.m.