Wednesday, April 2, 2014

High School Playoff Soccer: Lake View vs. Canyon High boys

The high school soccer playoffs is now underway and last Friday sports writer Quinton Martinez and I headed up to Lubbock (my hometown) to cover the Lake View High School Chiefs play Canyon High School in an area playoff game. Lake View was fresh off a district title and looking for a deep run in the playoffs. But the Chiefs would have to contend with Canyon's height advantage and control the ball if they wanted to advance.

For the first half Canyon had an advantage with the wind at their backs. That's one thing I don't miss about Lubbock, the wind. But, if you are playing soccer, the wind can be your best friend when trying to get the ball in the back of the net. However, the wind is not a factor when a team relies on stout determination and defense, as Lake View most certainly did. In the 15th minute, the Chiefs' Jordan Reyes chased a long pass from Anthony Moreno down the field, past two Canyon defenders and put the ball between the Canyon goalkeeper and the left post. The Chiefs took a 1-0 lead into halftime.

The second half of the game looked as if Canyon wasn't going to go down without a fight and controlled the ball for much of the time. Finally, in the 54th minute Canyon's Bretton Strickland found the back of the net to equalize the game 1-1. Now with just 26 minutes left in regulation, both teams cranked up their offensive play to avoid extra minutes.

In the 63rd minute Canyon was called for a foul for taking down Erik Rivera. Lake View's Ethan Brown sent the free-kick into the box where Julio Salas tapped the ball over to Anthony Moreno who slammed the ball into the net to give Lake View a 2-1 lead. Canyon would have their chances to tie the game later in the second, but to avail. Lake View won 2-1 to advance to the Class 4A sectional playoffs. This is the fourth consecutive year the Chiefs have won a playoff match. They will play again this Friday against Amarillo High in the sectional round.

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