With three consecutive wins, Lighthouse soccer was flying high — perhaps too high — when Einstein Academy knocked them down back into the Earth’s atmosphere with a stinging 0-6 loss last Friday.
The players for the Lighthouse Christian Academy were ebullient as they entered their fourth league game undefeated. They were joking. They were
confident cocky. They weren’t listening to coach. They weren’t concentrating.
After cooly beating last year’s high school soccer champs 2-1, what could possibly stand in their way?
Albert Einstein Academy for Arts, Letters and Sciences of Valencia had read the game record on MaxPreps and prepared for a formidable foe. “We thought we were going to have to give everything we had to beat you,” admitted the Einstein coach.
Instead, Einstein’s 10 club players and other assorted players faced a disorganized Saints team that hemorrhaged goals with a succession of mistakes. In the first half, Lighthouse held a deep defensive line on two free kicks, allowing Einstein players with powerful kicks to get within goal range with long airborn passes. The 50-50 ball needed only to be turned into the net.
Lighthouse managed the improbable win against Newbury, the reigning league champs, by working some slick passing. But on Friday, Saints players were selfish, attempting impossible penetration through a thicket of players with individual dribbling. At best, they would get past three and get caught by the fourth while an open teammate called for the ball.
Other mistakes were made by the Christian school in Santa Monica.
After a winning run that Coach Junior Cervantes qualified as “miraculous,” it was a crushing loss but not an undeserved loss. The pre-game glut of confidence was inappropriate.
As the Bible says, pride comes before a fall.
With only one club and one former club player, all the Lighthouse teammates need to work extra hard and concentrate on fulfilling their job in order to win. They have to meet technical and tactical superiority with superior energy. This is what they did against Newbury and what they didn’t do against Einstein.
The battle is won in the mind as they balance concentration, humility and effort.
Coaches Jack Mefford and Cervantes have had no time to reorganize. With three games this week, they’ll have to rely on pre-game explanations and sideline instructions to improve LCA’s performance.
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