By Anthony Mannino
The Cavaliers boys soccer team blew their third two-goal lead of the season in a 2-2 tie against new district rival Westlake on Tuesday.
Following two tallies from Cav striker Dylan Tracy – each from 30 yards out – that staked Lake Travis to a firm 2-0 lead at halftime, the Chaparrals scored two second-half goals. Lake Travis won the penalty shootout 4-3, but the penalty kick result doesn’t matter with Westlake eliminated from making the playoffs and Lake Travis locked into a postseason position.
“We can’t get complacent when we are up like that,” Tracy said. “That’s happened for the past three games. We’ve been up 2-0, and we’ve blown the lead. We can’t do that going into playoffs.”
Nathaniel Adamolekun deserves all the credit for Tracy’s first goal. The freshman forward hustled 15 yards to beat a Westlake defender to the ball in Lake Travis’ half. He then fought another Westlake defender for 50 yards before dribbling by the defender and laying the ball off to Tracy.
“I was thinking of creating an opening – see if I get could get a goal or set up a goal to try and get us ahead,” Adamolekun said.
Tracy hit the ball first time curling it over the keeper into the net in the 6th minute.
The midfielder used some trickery to score his next goal in the 13th minute. After Westlake fouled Lake Travis near the top of their box, Tracy surprised the Westlake defense when he took a quick free kick with the Chaparrals wall and keeper not set. The ball curled into the corner of the net to give Lake Travis a 2-0 lead.
“Frankly, it’s a lot easier than putting it in when [the keeper’s] ready,” Tracy said. “You’re supposed to wait until they ask for 10 yards before you set up the wall, but [the keeper] wasn’t aware of that so I just put it in.”
The Cavaliers controlled the tempo in the first half and allowed Westlake little room to create chances offensively.
The contest shifted in the second half, and Lake Travis lacked the urgency to close the game out.
Westlake gained confidence and slowly began to string passes together and attack the Lake Travis goal.
The Chaparrals benefited from a lucky bounce in the 51st minute to close the gap to 2-1. William Barret Mattingly mistakenly headed the ball into his own net after a long throw from Westlake’s Jacob Zodikoff.
“Own goals happen,” senior Zane Perkins said.” It’s just the luck of the draw, I guess. It’s just unlucky how that happened.”
Adamolekun nearly restored Lake Travis’ two-goal lead, but his chip shot went wide in the 53rd minute.
Westlake continued to attack the Cavaliers’ net after gaining momentum from the own goal. The chances led to a Chaparrals’ penalty when the ref ruled a Lake Travis defender blocked a shot with his hand in the 66th minute.
Matt Favaron scored from the spot to tie the game at 2-2.
The Chaparrals almost completed the comeback when a Luc Scranton header hit the bar in the 75th minute.
Lake Travis failed to create opportunities to earn the victory and lost points in their third straight game after holding a two-goal lead.
“My four years being (at) Lake Travis, we’ve never gotten close to tying Westlake,” Perkins said. “We’ve always lost, so I thinking winning in penalty kicks is a win in itself.”
The regular season is over for the Cavs, with the bidistrict playoffs scheduled to start between March 28-30, when Lake Travis will play a squad from District 16-5A.
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