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Lions boys soccer team in hunt for title
by Ericka Birdsong
April 24, 2013 10:24 AM | 1897 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Lithia Springs freshman Nere Tejada tries to maintain 
possession of the ball during
practice Thursday afternoon.
Lithia Springs freshman Nere Tejada tries to maintain possession of the ball during practice Thursday afternoon.
The Lithia Springs boys’ soccer team made it into the playoffs after finishing their regular season with a 7-3 region record under the direction of first-year head coach Patrick Krouba.

The Lions had their last region game on April 19, as they lost to the Woodland Wildcats, 1-0, in a rescheduled match-up due to referee availability.

Prior to the scheduled playing time the weather made Krouba unsure of whether the game would happen or not, but he said if so, his boys “should come out winners”.

Starting the season with a 4-1 loss to Rome, Lithia Springs was able to recover and make this a winning season. The Lions had a four-game win streak against their region opponents – Paulding County, North Paulding, Villa Rica and South Paulding – from March 1 to March 12 with a three-game win streak against East Paulding, Allatoona and New Manchester between March 22 and March 29.

“We started a little rough this year because I did not have enough time to condition my players before the beginning of the season. But once we started to have the hang of it, we did pretty good,” said Krouba.

As a first-year coach of this Lithia Springs team, Krouba said he had several players that made “quite a difference in the structure of [their] game” this season – Joe Raygoza, Fernando Rodriguez, Enoch Sarfo, Amari Walker and Carlos Zambrano.

“Amari Walker scored over four goals, as well as Enoch and Carlos. Joe Raygoza is our defender. He has been very efficient protecting our goal keeper,” Krouba said.

Of all of these players and their various positions, Krouba said the strongest point on his team is the midfield, controlled by Walker.

Even with so many good things to say about his team, there is still one element of the game Krouba said he would like to see his team improve on – “fighting through” when they are “one goal down”.

“They seem to give up too quickly rather than fighting through,” said Krouba, noting that his team did indeed come back in a few games.

With the playoffs being the next step for the team this season, Krouba said he and the team will do their best to muster up the same intensity that got them to the playoffs.

“We will try to steer the same drive that brought us so far into the competition and take it into the playoffs one game at the time,” Krouba said.

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