Lanett boys soccer completes sweep of Valley

Published 10:49 pm Monday, March 20, 2023

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It was a chippy game between Lanett and Valley, but it was the Panthers who walked away with a 5-2 win at Ram Stadium on Monday.

This was Lanett’s second win in a row and their second win over Valley this season.

Lanett head coach Jakobi McCants was thrilled to complete the sweep.

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“It was a much better night. It just shows what hard work does,” McCants said.

“We got it done. It was sweet victory.”

Valley head coach Will Elliott explained how he slowed down Lanett’s attack compared to the game last Thursday.

“We changed up our formation,” Elliott said.

“I put some of our faster players on defense. We played with three midfielders and one striker most of the season. I went with a 4-2-3-1. Scoring anything was awesome for us. Our offensive players locked in and focused on going to the goal at the same time. I’m proud of them for that.”

Lanett and Valley were tied at two toward the end of the first half with goals from Rams James Jones and Jeiner Ariza along with Panthers Darwin Ortiz and Freyder Ramirez.

Lanett broke the tie with three and a half minutes left in the first when Ramirez scored his second goal of the game.

After taking a 3-2 halftime lead, Lanett came out a little slow in the second half.

Valley couldn’t get on the attack, and Ortiz scored his second goal with nine minutes left in the game to extend the lead to 4-2.

Lanett sealed the win with a strike from Angel Lopez to make it 5-2, and the Panthers were able to celebrate a victory.

Despite the win, both benches got into a brief scuffle after the game.

McCants condemned the behavior of some of the players as both teams received yellow cards for taunting in the game.

“You have a lot of kids that get the opportunity to be around each other without adult supervision,” McCants said.

“A lot of them are at little events and little parties. A lot of that spills over, and we don’t find out until we’re on the scene with the kids. It just needs to get under control. You can guarantee mine will be disciplined for what’s going on.”

Elliott wants his players to learn to be more mentally tough.

“You’re going to have to fight through adversity every game,” Elliott said.

“With the girls moving down to 5A, it was different. For the boys, there wasn’t really a talent drop off. We have to physically go up the field and work together.”