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Commodore soccer dominates South Panola, eyes tough stretch ahead

BATESVILLE – Playing up a class on the road Saturday afternoon in traveling to Batesville to play 6A South Panola (3-7-1), the Lafayette boys dominated the ball winning by a score of 5-0. The win gets the Commodores to 8-7, and back above .500 for the first time since November.

“We’ve played up a class all season. We’ve played a couple of DeSoto County teams. We played Tupelo and we played Oxford,” said head coach Gene Anderson. “This whole season we didn’t have a lot of games we could get out and score four or five goals. It was fun today to do that.”

A first-half breakaway goal by senior Alex Fikes got the Commodores on the board first early. By halftime, the game had gotten away from South Panola, as Lafayette led 4-0. The second half allowed them to work through some issues and rest some starters. They had the opportunity both to shake off some rust from the long Christmas break and get some bench players meaningful experience.

“It was just kind of a good game after two weeks off. We got back out and worked through things,” Anderson said. “We weren’t communicating for a bit there, but it was good to see them work that out and get back to the way we were playing before break.”

Lafayette did a great job possessing the ball in this contest. They managed to keep the ball in their half of the field nearly the entire game, allowing them considerably more chances than the Tigers over the course of the matchup, leading to the 5-0 final score.

The upcoming slate of games is one of the more challenging all season for the Commodores. In a five day stretch, they will face three teams, two within their district, with a combined record of 24-6-2. For a team resting at 8-7, this week could make or break their season.

“We’re going to find out this week where we are,” Anderson said. “We have three really tough games this week, so having this one to get back in the swing of things was fantastic.”

Fikes led the way with two goals for the Commodores. They take the field again on Tuesday night, a road divisional game against Grenada. They will then play Thursday against Saltillo and Saturday against an undefeated Lewisburg team.