LHS falls one game short of region finals

Published 9:51 pm Friday, June 1, 2018

The Lady Cavs fell short of the regional finals with a 2-0 loss to Colonial Heights High School on the road Thursday evening.

The Lakeland High School girls’ soccer team was one game away from making it to the Class 3 state tournament. After defeated Parkview High School Wednesday evening, Lakeland matched up against Colonial Heights. Lakeland was the underdog going into the game and did a good job maintaining. They played well; however, fatigue set in from the game before and played a part in the Lady Cavs’ loss.

“I wish we would have had a day in between,” Lakeland Coach Adam Smith said. “We had a tough game against Park View. I think if we had a day in between things would have gone a bit different. They had over 20-something players, and they just wore us down. Regardless, the girls left it all out on the field, and I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

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Overall, Smith felt good about what the team showed during its playoff run. Because Lakeland didn’t have one of the higher seeds, they were road warriors throughout the playoffs. Lakeland did a good job going out on the road and being able to play in tough environments.

“I am happy with the effort,” he said. “I felt like the last couple weeks we had been playing well, and we were prepared.”

Smith felt good about Lakeland’s season. Lakeland had a nice non-conference schedule, which allowed them to win games early on in the season and build the case for its playoff seed. Even though Smith believes there were some games Lakeland could have won, he was happy with what they were able to get done.

In the second half of the season, Lakeland started getting into its Southeastern District opponents, who were a little tougher considering Lakeland is the smallest classification in the district.

“Looking from the first week of the season to where we are now, we are leaps and bounds from where we were,” Smith said. “The way the girls practiced and translated what we practiced over to games was outstanding. They were coachable, and they listened, and they just improved as the year went on.”

Because of how hard they worked all season, the players were disappointed by the regional semifinals loss — so much so they made it their mission to get past this mark next season.

Lakeland has a strong core returning for next season. Mackenzie Johnson and Mikayla Grant have done some good things for the Lady Cavs and are looking forward to an even better year next year.