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Lakeside spoils Senior Night at SHS

Blue Devil boys held scoreless

    Statesboro’s offensive woes continued Tuesday night, and the Blue Devils couldn’t overcome a first-half goal falling 1-0 to visiting Lakeside at Womack Field. The loss spoiled Senior Night for SHS, which fell to 3-4 in Region 3-AAAA play.
    Nello Thomas scored the eventual winner for LHS, putting home a cross by freshman Justin Pitock. The fateful goal bounced off an SHS defender and kicked the opposite direction of keeper Jake Lanier.
    “Our defense has kept us in games all year long,” said SHS coach Chad Prosser. “And our guys know this — our offense hasn’t been able to hold the ball. Even when we clear it out it seems like the ball’s coming right back down our throat.”
    Lanier registered four saves, but he and his defense were under a relentless Panther attack for almost the entire 80 minutes.
    Statesboro, however, didn’t go without its chances when the opportunity presented itself.
    Graden Bozeman had a chance to put home a loose ball in the 74th minute after Thomas Eisenhart’s free kick pin balled around in the LHS box. The shot was gathered up by reserve keeper Jordan Cruz.
    Morgan Doty’s shot in the 71st minute was also saved, and Eisenhart’s crack in the 58th minute hit the crossbar.
    “I thought we attacked much better as a team, and I thought we created a lot of chances with just not getting them in,” said Prosser. “They played well — and we played well — they were just able to take advantage of their opportunity. I have faith in these guys. I’m disappointed in the result but not in the way they played.”
    As the sun set over Womack Field, a fierce wind began blowing straight towards the SHS net in the second half. Any chance of a clearance was sent drifting back at the home team’s goal, aiding an already tough Lakeside attack.
    “We hung in there and played well defensively,” said senior defenseman Josh Rich. “They got kind of a lucky goal off a deflection. Our defense did well, we’re just waiting for the offense to start clicking again.”
    The first scoring chance of the night for SHS should have been an indicator of how the rest of the match would go. Jose Rubio’s corner kick in the third minute trickled through Lakeside’s defense, finding an unmarked Eisenhart. Eisenhart got his right boot on the ball, put it boomed off the crossbar and out of bounds. The Devils didn’t get another true shot on goal for 34 minutes.
    Statesboro will return to action for its final home game against Benedictine Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

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