Boys’ soccer opens district play with win over Lake Travis

Offensive outburst compliments defensive effort as Chaps beat Cavaliers 3-0
Mia Fillpot
Chaps celebrate a goal in the first half of their 3-0 win over Lake Travis Wednesday. The win helps the Chaps maintain an undefeated record as they begin district play.

With just a few minutes left to play in the second half, forward senior Christian Mezas collected the ball in his own half, turned around, and played an incisive pass to attacking midfielder senior William Fagerberg just outside the 18-yard box. Fagerberg shielded off a defender to his left and blasted a right-footed shot underneath the goalkeeper. 

The goal, Fagerberg’s second of the night, gave the Chaps a 3-0 lead, sealing their first district win of the season and maintaining their undefeated record. 

“We’ve worked really hard through this offseason,” Fagerberg said. “A lot of props to our guys. I put the goals away, but we worked really hard and fought our way through this entire game.”

The Chaps (4-3-0, 1-0-0 District 26-6A) beat rival Lake Travis (2-0-5, 0-0-1 26-6A), 3-0, at Chaparral Stadium Wednesday night. The Chaps were rock-solid on defense, making several crucial blocks and recoveries to earn the clean sheet. The defensive effort resulted in counter-attack opportunities, and the forwards delivered. The Chaps’ three goals ties their season-high in single-game scoring. 

“It’s the ‘Battle of the Lakes,’ so the boys got ready in practice,” Mezas said. “We had a good week of practice, we knew what we came to do, and we went out and got the job done.”

The attackers came out of the gates firing away, launching several shots toward goal in the first ten minutes of play. The Chaps’ high press forced giveaways from the Cavaliers, resulting in a few solid chances early. In minute 13, it paid off.

Near the penalty spot, Mezas played a ball to his left, finding Fagerberg in space. Fagerberg fired a right-footed shot past the keeper and into the center of the goal to put the Chaps up 1-0. 

“We wanted to cut down the space as much as we could,” head coach Evan Foxworth said. “[Lake Travis] is a really good soccer team in space, so we wanted to put as much pressure on them as we possibly could, win the ball back, and go to goal from there.”

The Chaps’ aggressive mindset was on full display throughout the remainder of the first half. In the final few minutes, it allowed the Chaps to double their lead.

After the Chaps won the ball back in midfield, Fagerberg played a long pass to forward junior Logan Thompson. At the back post, Thompson chipped the ball over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net, giving the Chaps a 2-0 lead right before the break. 

“We did a great job of high press, high intensity soccer in the first half,” Foxworth said.

Attacker junior Nicolas Mieres works past a Lake Travis defender in the first half of the Chaps’ win Wednesday. The Westlake attack fired on all cylinders, tying a season-high with three goals. (Mia Fillpot)

The teams flipped roles in the second half. Despite several solid opportunities for the Cavaliers to cut into the lead, the Chaps held strong at the back. Timely tackles and an acrobatic save by goalkeeper sophomore Tobin Nguyen helped preserve the Chaps’ two-goal advantage. 

“Everyone was on the same page,” Mezas said. “We knew [the LT attack] was going to happen, it was happening in film, and we knew that they press hard in the second half. The back line stayed good, and the midfield’s movement was good, so we always had options.”

While Lake Travis created a number of chances to get on the board, it was the Chaps who took advantage once more. Fagerberg’s second goal and one final stand from the defensive unit iced the win. 

The Chaps clicked in all three phases of the game, finishing chances in the attack, winning the ball in midfield and earning a shutout defensively. 

“If we can get together as a group, and if we can work like that every game, I think there’s no one that can beat us,” Mezas said. 

Though the offensive effort was the difference on the scoresheet, it was the Chaps’ defensive performance that paved the way, as it has several times this season. 

“Our backline has been phenomenal this year, and we’ve rotated guys in and out,” Foxworth said. “Those guys have given up one goal in the last seven games. Both of our keepers and our center backs are playing phenomenally well. The outside backs are working their butts off. So, give it up to our backline. One goal in seven games is bananas.”

The Chaps will get another shot at a district foe Friday, as they travel to Del Valle to face the Cardinals at Veterans Stadium at 6 p.m. 

“The good thing is, I think we have a ton we can get better on,” Foxworth said. “I don’t think we’re even close to where we need to be, but we’re getting better every game. That’s all I can really ask for.”

Attacking midfielder senior William Fagerberg plays a pass in the first half of the Chaps’ win Wednesday. Fagerberg had two goals and an assist in the win. (Mia Fillpot)
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