Lafayette boys reach first North Half final in nine years with win over Callaway

Published 10:10 pm Friday, January 27, 2023

The Lafayette boys’ soccer team secured their first trip to the North Half championship since 2014 with a 7-1 victory over Callaway in the third round of the MHSAA Class 5A playoffs on Friday.

The Commodores (18-5, 3-1 Region 1-5A) struggled to finish chances early in the match as they struggled to figure out how to make inroads against a Callaway team whose unique tactics seemed to fluster them through the first 25 minutes of action.

The Chargers were content to park the bus and cede possession to Lafayette in the midfield, allowing them to push forward into the attacking third at will.

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They pushed the ball out quickly to the wings after gaining possession however as they relied on speedy wingers to get out on the break and ignite their counterattack.

“They were playing four at the back and then had one sitting right in front of them so it was almost like they were playing with five [on the back line]. It was something we really haven’t seen this year so we were a little off trying to break into that,” said head coach Gene Anderson. “There was no midfield, they were basically five up and five back and if we tried to build up slow those five [up front] came back and then when they won the ball they just [took off] as fast as they could go.”

The Commodores solved the puzzle midway through the first half however, striking for three goals in four minutes to take control of the match.

Two of those goals came off the head of senior defender Crosse Lindsay, giving him three goals in just two playoff matches.

“Oh my god, that’s like a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing,” Anderson said when asked about Lindsay’s ability to rise up in the box and finish headers. “I was just joking — one of the kids said ‘oh my God, he scored again,’ and I said yeah it’s like an ATM machine, just go over there and type in the code and get your money. I mean he’s 6-foot-4 and he jumps well so if its in the right spot nobody’s gonna beat him to the ball.”

The Commodores will face off against the winner of Saturday’s contest between Saltillo and Ridgeland next week for the right to represent the North Half in the state championship game on Feb. 4.