Vikings News · Calling All Vikings: Boys Soccer goes to Playoffs Friday

Below is a letter from Head Coach Chris Hellums:
Viking Nation,
The Boys Soccer team has qualified for the Playoffs for the 3rd straight season after finishing in 2nd place with a district record of 9-3-2. The first round will be played at Nelson Field this Friday March 29 at 7 pm against San Antonio Memorial High School (3rd place, 8-4-2 in district). It is expected to be a close game between two strong teams, but we are hoping to benefit from a strong turnout creating a true home field advantage. Help us spread the word to all students, staff, alumni, family members, and supporters – show up, wear black and gold, and be loud!
This has been our best year both on the field and in the classroom, and I can tell you that this group is worthy of your support. They are the hardest working, most dedicated team that I have coached, and they play the game the right way. They work hard for each other, they share the ball, and no one cares who scores the goals. Most people do not realize that our teams (boys and girls) play most of our games against schools with clear advantages – booster clubs with deep pockets, turf practice fields, private training, and expensive club soccer team memberships to name a few.
Against these odds, Lanier finished the district season in 2nd place, just one single game behind Dripping Springs. While the boys were disappointed to fall short of a District Championship, the achievements of this team, in context, are truly remarkable. Here is a review of our season as we head into Playoffs:
Final District Standings:
  1. Dripping Springs 32
  2. Lanier 29
  3.  McCallum 22
  4. Travis 22
District Record: 9-3-2 (record point total in past 5 years)
District Goals Scored: 31, Goals allowed 17. (most goals scored and +14 = best goal differential in 5 years)
Emblematic of the unselfish of that characterizes the team, our most productive player statistically, Luis Lopez, is not the leading scorer. His 6 goals on the season are only tied for 3rd most with Andy Madrid (Josue Montalvan has bagged 9 and Rodrigo Suarez 8). But with 11 assists Luis has been directly involved in over half of the team’s 31 goals in district play.
The starting goalkeeper Ray Rodriguez has allowed just 16 Goals in District play for a miniscule 1.14 allowed per game playing behind the protection of senior defenders Michael Varela, Chris Torres, Mauricio Ulloa, and Cristian Suarez. Ray has kept 3 clean sheets and made 61 Saves in District for a hugely impressive 79.2% save percentage.
This team’s 12 overall wins is the highest of my tenure and the win against McCallum on Senior Night was our 50th overall win in 5 years. The seniors who have played Varsity for 3 years have won 33 games and qualified for playoffs each year.
The midfield is anchored by seniors Juan Alvarez and Cubo Hernandez. Juan has had an outstanding season, his first on Varsity, with five goals and two assists. He has been deadly as the team’s designated penalty taker in big games. Cubo, who missed the entire 2018 campaign with an ACL injury, returned to the field for his senior year to register one goal, three assists, and three player of the game awards from his position as a holding midfielder. His performance on the field and in the classroom have earned him an offer to play at the next level for Southwestern University.
The future is also bright as Sophomore Ricky Hernandez has made a difference in his first Varsity campaign contributing 3 goals and 4 assists. Osbaldo Serna and Diego Stauffer who started the season on Coach Zarate’s stellar Freshman squad and Sophomore Hernan Aguilera from Coach Marlin’s JV team, have been promoted to Varsity and played important minutes in district competition.