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Lakeside struggles in loss to Perris

01/23/2013, 3:22pm PST
By Brian Haas

Lakeside's boys soccer team, the defending CIF Southern Section Division V champion, fall to 1-2 in league with loss to Perris.

— Three games into the Sunbelt League season, things have been anything but smooth for the Lakeside High boys soccer team.

With a 1-0 loss to league-rival Perris on Tuesday, the defending CIF Southern Section Division V champion now finds itself with a single league win and having been outscored 5-0 in its last two matches.

“We are searching for something right now, that is for sure,” Lakeside coach Colin Gilliland said. “We are lacking chemistry and leadership, and I think it’s pretty evident when we play against the better teams.

“We don’t have that intensity.”

Last week, the Lancers allowed four second-half goals in a loss to Elsinore, which was followed by Tuesday’s effort in which they allowed defending league-champion Perris (9-3-3, 3-0-0) to score the deciding goal just 12 minutes in.

Gilliland said his team did not respond the way he thought it would.

“Honestly, we looked like the same team out there today,” Gilliland said.

Missing two starters in seniors Mateo Baltazar and Gil Serna, Lakeside struggled to create offensive opportunities through the first 70 minutes Tuesday and dug itself into a hole early when Daniel Juarez scored the game’s only goal.

Playing from behind has proven to be a problem for the Lancers (12-6-1, 1-2-0) this season, as all of their losses have come when the opponent strikes first.

“That has been the difference between last year’s team and this year,”Gilliand said. “We have not shown the ability to overcome a deficit.”

If there is a positive that Lakeside can take Tuesday, it was the team’s play in the final 10 minutes.

The Lancers showcased an urgency that had been absent for much of the match, and created several quality chances that nearly equalized.

One of those chances came in the 79th minute, when senior Oscar Gonzalez dribbled deep into the box and saw his shot slide just left of the post.

“We have a good team with a lot of talent; we just have to keep our heads up,” Gonzalez said. “We have to keep going and can’t be scared, and I think we did that in the end today. We just unfortunately couldn’t tie it up.”

Gilliland remains optimistic about the future, as the Lancers have yet to play the league’s bottom teams.

“The good thing about this league is that it is very realistic that a two-loss team could win it,” Gilliland said. “We have seven league games in front of us, and by no means is this thing over.”

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