They say that defense wins championships, but as the Lorain County Community College men’s soccer team took on the Lakeland Community College Lakers, that infamous saying was contradicted. It was evident right away that the Commodores would be on the defensive when Lakers’ forward Mohamed Doumbia had a wide open scoring opportunity within a few seconds of kickoff. The pressure just piled on as the game progressed.
The Lakers’ ball dominance set the pace and controlled the game. Their passing dissected the Commodores’ defense and had a high quantity of corner kicks and set pieces giving them multiple chances at goal. Lakers’ Doumbia was one goal shy of a hat trick, which is three goals in a game.
The only offensive weapon LCCC had was the counterattack, which is when a player clears the threat of a goal, and a forward gets the ball and sprints down the pitch get scoring opportunities, a common form of offense.
It was clear that luck happened to be on the Lakers’ side after one controversial play. A foul was called near the penalty area, leading to a free-kick that hit the post and was parried, or knocked to another Lakers’ player. In this case, it meant another goal for Mohamed Doumbia.
In another stroke of luck, Lakers’ Raymond Salukombo received a cross from the left wing, or corner. He had a one on one situation with the Commodores goalkeeper, which turned into a scramble between the two, as the ball slipped past the keeper and was knocked in by Salukombo.
“There was not a lot of talking and we were out of shape,” said Commodores’ center back Jacob Sheriff. The team doesn’t practice enough and was put together “last minute,” Sheriff added.
As a result, the team was not united.
“We weren’t outskilled,” said head coach Nathan Goins. “We were out conditioned.”
The team’s formation is a 4-4-2, with center midfielders flat. Coach Goins likes this formation and said that as long as your players are willing to hustle and communicate, it can be very effective. The problem in the match against Lakeland CC was that no one was willing to hustle due to being out of shape. Goins believes there is no need to change the formation and that the game plan will work as long as the team does not abandon the strategy when things are going their way.
The Commodores’ next match is home on Thursday, Sept. 15 at 4:00pm against Walsh JV and takes on Lakeland CC again on Wednesday, Sept. 21.