Dragons move on with tight round one win over Lakeland Christian

Remington Swanson makes the save on the header by Chino Roque of Argos
Rusty Nixon
Sports Editor

Relentless pressure was the key as Argos Dragons live to fight another day in sectional play with a 3-2 win over Lakeland Christian.
Just five minutes in, Dragons goalie Colton Markley made a remarkable save to tip an open shot over the top of the goal, but in spite of Argos controlling the ball and putting constant pressure on the Cougars, they found themselves behind 1-0 at the 30 minute mark after Lakeland mid fielder Parker Stewart took advantage of the one open run his team had to bury a goal in the back of the left corner.
“Parker is an incredible player,” said Lakeland coach Dan Miller. “He’s our leading scorer he can strike a ball so well. He did a great job of pushing their back line back and he’s just got a lot of technical ability.”
“We have had a habit this year of starting off slow and knowing what we have to do and not doing it and keeping teams in,” said Argos head coach Todd VanDerWeele. “I give a lot of credit to them, they came out fighting from the start.”
From that goal on it was all Dragons for the rest of the first half and most of the second as their relentless offensive pressure finally broke down the Lakeland defense for three scores in the final eight minutes of the first half.
“We had a let down and they took advantage like good teams do,” said Miller. “But I think we showed a lot of grit to come back and put them under a lot of pressure particularly in those last 10 minutes.”
Freshman Mike Richard, with an assist from Koleman Norris, got the goal to tie with a little over eight minutes to play in the first.
At the six minute mark Ian Kindig had the highlight goal of the night with a header right in front of goalie Remington Swanson, off the pass from Cam Markley and then Chino Roque broke free one on one three minutes later to bury a shot of his own.
The second half started much the same with constant pressure by the Dragons offense but some solid defensive work from the Cougars including a brilliant save by Swanson picking a ball right off the head of Roque.
With about 12 minutes to play, things started to turn.
“We got a nice little run there but we sort of took the foot off the gas and that kind of concerns me going forward,” said VanDerWeele. “We let them in the game and they got that second goal and made things interesting at the end.”
Argos goalie Markley got a big defensive hand from Sam Manikowski to turn away a golden opportunity at the 12 minute mark and another big hand from Kayden Brady a minute later to turn away another goal.
A foul in the box on Argos at 9:49 to play however changed things drastically. Stewart buried the penalty kick and it was 3-2 with plenty of time on the clock.
The goal gave new life to Lakeland and it was a battle to the end for the Dragons who had just enough to get away with the win.
“The last three games we’ve had with them (Lakeland) they are a thorn in our side,” said VanDerWeele. “They find a weak spot and they just keep hammering at it. We struggled with them last year in the sectional, during the season it was a dog fight again, and you see it here tonight. We just had to take care of business and do what we had to do.”
Doing what they had to do sends them to 10-3-4 on the season and a berth in round two to take on North Miami who got a round one bye, game time at 5 p.m. Lakeland ends its season at 10-6-1.
at Argos Sectional
First half
LCA Parker Stewart 10th
Argos Mike Richard (Koleman Norris) 32nd
Argos Ian Kindig (Cam Markley) 34th
Argos Chino Roque (Richard) 37th
Second half
LCA Stewart 70th
Shots on goal: Argos-10, LCA-4
Saves: Argos-2 (Colton Markley), LCA-7 (Remington Swanson)
Corners: Argos-12, LCA-1
Records: Argos 10-3-4, LCA 10-6-1