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‘Dores win, lose, draw in tournament

The Lafayette boys soccer team’s matches in the Oxford Showcase over the weekend featured a little bit of everything, fitting for a team that’s still trying to find some consistency.

The Commodores started the tournament with a 1-1 draw against Caledonia on Friday before notching a 2-0 win over Itawamba AHS in its first game Saturday. Lafayette got its third different result Saturday afternoon, falling 2-1 to Washington (Greenville).

Lafayette’s final tournament match against Kosciousko finished after press time.

“We’ve played really well at times, and other times we’re just making dumb mistakes, which I guess is good because that can be fixed,” Lafayette coach Gene Anderson said. “If it was a problem with talent or something, that’s just not anything you’re going to be able to address in a day. I think if we just play consistently and put a whole game together and learn how to do that every game, we’d be OK.”

Lafayette (6-6-1) started fast with an early goal from Brian Leyva against Caledonia and two quick goals against Itawamba AHS from Carlos Barahona and Jason Reveles, but some mental lapses on goals given up to Caledonia and Washington, Anderson said, kept the Commodores from possibly having a more successful weekend.

“That corner, I guess he just kind of curled it in a little bit, and that’s just silly. The keeper should get that,” Anderson said of the second goal Lafayette allowed to Washington, which scored both of its goals in the second half. “(Friday) night, we gave up a goal because the guy shot it from 40 yards and we just thought, ‘Oh, well it’s going to go over (the goal).’ I don’t know if it was complacency or if it just legitimately looked like it was going over, but that’s a game we could’ve won instead of tying.”

Yusha Patton-Bey scored for Lafayette against Washington off a corner in the final seconds, but Anderson said his team has to be more aggressive earlier in matches.

“We’ve just got to start shooting,” Anderson said. “We’re not doing a very good job of that.”

Oxford drops pair
Oxford’s boys took losses in their first two games of the Oxford Showcase, and Chargers coach Jonathan Branch is worried about a lot more than the scoreboard.

The Chargers fell 1-0 to Jackson Academy on Friday before suffering a 3-1 setback to Oak Grove on Saturday. The Chargers’ final tournament match against Starkville on Saturday night finished after press time.

“Not playing with any urgency,” Branch said. “We’re not quite playing with the kind of emotion that we want or that we have been in the past. … We’re not playing horrible, but we’re not playing where this team expects themselves to be or I expect them to be. Hopefully we’ll get to that real soon.”

Oxford’s defense kept the Chargers in both matches with a penalty kick being the separator in the loss to Jackson Academy. But the offense was way too passive for Branch’s liking as the only goal Oxford mustered in either match came from Josh Fulton on an assist from John Owen Yoste against Oak Grove.

“I think we’re so worried about not forcing it that we’ve almost scared ourselves out about going forward to try to score,” Branch said. “A lot of times, we get our build-ups and it’s not an easy attack, so we’ll back it up and try to restart to keep our possession. I think we’re kind of self-policing ourselves and not going forward.”

Branch said the Chargers’ quality of opponent had something to do with their struggles.

“I didn’t put us up against any easy games,” he said. “We’ve had (two) wars for varsity and we’ve had quality games with the JV, so I’m really pleased with the competition that we’re playing.”

Oxford’s junior varsity team beat Lewisburg 2-0 on Friday before blanking Kosciousko’s varsity squad 1-0 on Saturday.

James McKey had both of the Chargers’ goals Friday while Dean Mott scored Saturday. All three goals were assisted by Yoste.