Boys soccer: Veteran Lobos set title goal
Langham Creek's 20-plus seniors are determined to do something special with the 2011 boys soccer season, and for the Lobos, it all starts with securing a 17-5A playoff berth, and then finally advancing past the first round.
"They kind of have a chip on their shoulder, especially the ones who have been there, about losing the playoff opener the past three years," Langham Creek coach Scott Tucker said. "They also want to keep our string of four consecutive playoff berths going, and hopefully, after playing a more dynamic predistrict schedule, we have them ready to do it."
The extensive senior talent begins with all-district goalkeeper Nick Boardley, midfielder Emerson Ornstein, forward Ryan Lewis and defender Regan Lindsey, who also make up a foursome of team captains.
More 12th-grade starting leadership comes from midfielders Brian Kelly, George Boardley, Wesley Lara, Matt Robinson and Kristian Valdez, forwards Blake Ross and John Fernandez, and defenders Austin Deniz and Alan Ramirez.
Junior forward Alan Mendoza and sophomore utility man Cameron Ross are also part of the Lobos' still-developing rotations.
"We do a variety of things, especially at this time of the year," Tucker said. "We use different lineups depending on the match-up, and even though we're into district play, we continue to try out some different combinations to see what works the best."
Langham Creek's current postseason streak of four straight started with a District 17-5A championship and playoff wins over Elsik 2-1, Westside 1-0 shootout and Chavez 3-1 in 2007 with the run coming to an end against Kingwood 1-0 in overtime in the region semifinals.
The Lobos finished second in district in 2008, captured another district title in 2009, and were fourth to advance last year, but lost in the first round all three seasons (in order to Mayde Creek in a 1-0 shootout; Round Rock McNeil 1-0; and Georgetown 5-0).
"We're looking to get past that point, but first, we have to get to that point, and that means trying to get through one tough district," Tucker said. "You have to respect Cy Falls because they're the district champion, but some of the other teams that didn't finish in the top four a year ago are also in the mix. I've seen everyone, and every team has something dangerous, and the talent is really spread throughout the district."
Cy Woods, Cy-Fair and Langham Creek finished in order behind Cy Falls last season.
The Lobos host Cy Lakes at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11, and play at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 15, at Cy Falls.
Langham Creek meets Cy Ridge at 7 p.m. on Feb. 18 at the Berry Center, and takes on Cy Woods, Cy Falls, Cy Lakes and Cy Ranch twice, and Cy Creek, Cy Ridge, Cy Springs, Jersey Village and Cy-Fair once during 17-5A play in the district's split-zone schedule.
"You have to get points in every match, especially the five against teams in the other zone," Tucker said. "That's 15 available points, and you really have to focus on those teams because you only get one shot against them."
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