By RYAN HERMAN
Lincolnton had a single point of emphasis against East Lincoln –– to attack –– and the Wolves did plenty of it.
Third-ranked Lincolnton outshot the Mustangs by 14 attempts and had three different goal scorers in its 3-0 win over East Lincoln on Wednesday.
“We came in and wanted to attack and we did that,” Wolves coach Ian Leith said. “I’m happy with it.”
Lincolnton (5-1, 2-0 Southern District 7 Athletic 2A) won the shots on goal statistic 21-7, and on its seventh attempt Graham Willis connected in the 26th minute.
Willis scored when a deflected ball by East Lincoln keeper Tony Cardwell came his direction after Cardwell saved Alejandro Alvarado Zamora’s shot from the right side from going in.
Nearly 10 minutes later Jeffrey Perez juked his way into scoring a goal in the box to make it 2-0, then Juan Abonza connected in the top-right corner of the net from about 30 yards out on a cross from Anthony Abonza with 44 seconds left in the first half.
While no goals were scored in the second half, the three first-half goals were enough to do the Mustangs (3-5, 0-2) in.
“I thought in the first half we really played well,” Leith said.
While the Wolves achieved their game plan of attacking, East Lincoln once again found itself trailing early following a rough start.
Zamora snuck behind the defense on his shot attempt, and on Juan Abonza’s goal the senior was left open when the defender didn’t mark up.
Those mistakes were corrected in the second half, so much so that it kept Lincolnton off the board. But East Lincoln coach Jason Dragoon said he needs a full 80 minutes of that if his team is going to be successful in the tough SD-7.
“It’s rough. We’re relying on our team to score goals instead of relying on our team to defend,” Dragoon said.
“We’re going to get there, I have no doubts. On the home field for the opposing team, when you give up a couple of goals in the first half, the third one was the nail in the coffin.”