After trailing early, the Lansdowne boys soccer team scored four unanswered goals and stayed unbeaten with a 4-1 victory Tuesday over visiting Dundalk.
The Vikings (3-0) evened the score on a goal by Dom Supak and took the lead when Giovanni Alonzo Hernandez fed a streaking Anthony Anyaoha, who sidestepped goalie Jacob Kommalan and deposited the ball into an empty net with 10:01 left in the first half.
Javier Vincent scored the lone Dundalk goal after a shot by Gustavo Portillo.
Although the Owls (2-1) threatened early in the second half to get the equalizer, they couldn’t find the target against a stellar defense led by Lai Tha and Ai Ling.
“They are the backbone of our defense for sure,” Lansdowne coach George Dunn said. “They both have a lot of speed. Ai gave up that goal early, but after that he really tightened it down.”
After Mike Miranda scored on a penalty kick with 17:15 left in the game, Lai scored on a free kick from 47 yards away.
“Last season he scored it from the same place, and he did that again,” said Miranda, who also hit a shot off the crossbar in the first half.
“I went for the PK, to be honest, because I knew there were some people on me, so I knew they were going to tackle me, so I went for the PK.”
The senior midfielder said falling behind early woke his team up.
“I told my team, ‘We’ve got to keep going,’ because a lot of my team thought they were better today, but you’ve got to keep your mind on the field. You don’t have to be afraid, you’ve got to keep pushing until the last minute,” Miranda said.
“The guys really tightened up, the passes started getting better, we started communicating a little better and we hustled to the ball,” he said. “Getting to the loose balls really made all the difference.”
Despite the lead, the Owls kept the pressure on the Lansdowne defense that included Ko Sa and Stephen Geisler along with goalie Pablo Lema.
Dundalk had a direct kick from 14 yards out after a hand ball, but Alexa Arevelo’s shot sailed wide.
Brayan Garcia had a 20-yard shot saved by Lema and Arevalo had a shot blocked by Tha seconds before he was bowled over by Arevalo.
A shot by Dundalk’s Portillo was saved with 24:20 left in the game and the Vikings midfield, anchored by Byron DeLeon and Ben Kolarek, took control.
DeLeon was all over the field, breaking up plays with slide tackles and hustle.
“He is fearless,” Dunn said. “He is playing with fire in his belly.”
The speed of the Vikings wings also set up the final scoring opportunities.
“We wanted to open it up a little bit and get it out in the middle of the field, spread it out because we’ve got speed that we really wanted to capitalize on,” Dunn said. “When we get those guys running down the sidelines it opens up the middle which helps Byron and Ben get open.”
The Vikings will try and stay unbeaten with a road game at Kenwood on April 8 before concluding the regular season April 13 at home against Patapsco.