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Lakewood bounces back after first loss
With five wins in their column, four of them multi-goal efforts, the Lakewood soccer team met Cedarcrest in a match of undefeated teams March 25.
Whether affected by a little inertia left over from a Kings match that went to a shootout, or just outplayed, Lakewood fell 1-0 in the contest at home.
Cedarcrests goal came about midway into the first half.
Lakewood coach Vaughn Vandelac later said that while his team had its opportunities, they missed against an experienced team that returned just about everybody from their league championship season last spring.
Cedarcrest is a good team and you have to play your best game, he said. It was back and forth, a pretty good battle. They finally sunk one in and held on.
While Vandelac said the team is not as interested in winning league titles theyre more interested in going deep into the state tournament strong league play will be critical to the teams postseason opportunities. The Cascade Conference automatically sends its top two teams to districts, while the next four must qualify through play-in games against Northwest Conference challengers. Right now it looks like two other tough teams Sultan, who Lakewood has beaten, and Cedarcrest are vying with Lakewood for those two automatic berths.
The Cougars did their part to keep their prospects strong by rebounding from the loss with a 7-0 thrashing of Granite Falls. Lakewood junior Evander Ochoa scored another hat trick for the Cougars, his second of the season.
After splitting two close contests, it was nice to face the winless Tigers, Vandelac said.
It gets them back in the winning mindset. Its good to come back after a loss and get a good win, he added.
Three other Lakewood players added to their season scoring tallies in the March 27 game at Granite Falls. Senior Eric Hawks and sophomore Joseph Hawkins each had one goal while Nate Black had two.
After The Globe went to press, the Cougars followed the match with a home game April 1 against a 2-2 Archbishop Murphy team. On April 3, Lakewood begins the second half of their schedule with rematches against conference opponents.
Vandelacs goal for the team?
Just make sure that we beat the teams we beat the first time around, and try to get one when we get back to Cedarcrest again this season, he said.
Lakewood will get a chance to avenge their loss to Cedarcrest in Duvall April 29.