The Boys Soccer team approached Friday night’s district match against McCallum with heavy hearts as the Lanier Vikings community was engulfed by fear and chaos as ICE raids targeted families in the North Lamar area. It was against this backdrop of uncertainty that the Vikings banded together and produced their most impressive performance of the season. It was unfortunate for McCallum that they were the team scheduled to face Lanier on this day because they were completely swept aside by a supremely motivated Lanier team, desperate to represent their school and their community and to move one step closer to a district championship.
Lanier started in a high press, immediately forcing the Knights onto the back foot. This early pressure resulted in a 5th minute corner kick that Mario Gomez swung directly into the far post corner. The McCallum defense were powerless to defend the delivery and Lanier were off and running up 1-0. Five minutes later the Viking broke away down the center on a swift counter attack. Mario Gomez’s long ball found Shelove Dorsainvil running forward. Shelove slid in Melvin Andrade who unselfishly set up Edgar Mejia with an open net for his first goal of the season to cap off a devastating move from back to front.
The second half saw Lanier piling on for more as McCallum were whistled for holding in the penalty area just three minutes in to gift Lanier a penalty kick in the opening minutes. A strategic conference between Mario Gomez and JuanCarlos Hernandez resulted in Gomez acquiescing and suggesting that JuanCarlos slide the ball in to the keeper’s right. The advice was well taken, and JuanCarlos’s penalty was expertly taken to extend the lead to 3-0. Four minutes later Edgar Mejia won possession near midfield and started a move that finished with Melvin Andrade creating again, this time for Shelove Dorsainvil whose neat turn left his marker in the dust before coolly slotting past the onrushing keeper to bring the score to 4-0.
Later on Martin Ugarte ran on to a Danny Vargas through ball and found himself clean through to goal. He took a touch to push the ball past the keeper but was absolutely clattered on his way to the goal. The referee had no choice but to award another penalty and a yellow card. Ugarte picked himself up, took some advice from Vargas who showed no interest in taking the penalty himself, and then guided a beautiful side-footed effort into the top corner. In the closing minutes, Lanier conceded a consolation goal to McCallum, but this only served to agitate the Vikings. With two minutes remaining, David Villarruel played a through ball to Senior forward Cristhian Amador who rounded the keeper and calmly rolled the ball into an open net to complete the rout 6-1.
This was a comprehensive victory that showed the class and courage of these young men in the face of unusual adversity. In addition, the nature of their performance, and the fact that six different players scored the six goals epitomizes the selflessness of this team and the Viking Way. At the midway point of the season, Lanier sit in first place with an unbeaten record of 12 points from 6 matches. There is still a long way to go, but no one can doubt that the Vikings will continue to wear the Lanier shirt with pride as they seek out their first ever district championship.
Lanier 6-1 McCallum
MOTM: Erick Sarmiento