Lambert had eight players find the back of the net and goalkeeper Ben Strump dominated on defense as the Longhorns posted their third shutout of the season, downing rival West Forsyth 15-0 Thursday night on the road.
Eric Overbay and Conrad McEvoy each had a hat trick and an assist to pace the Longhorns (13-0), which took a 7-0 lead into halftime and never looked back. Strump was pulled in favor of junior keeper Walker Wing in the second half, but totaled five saves and caused many more deflections.
Even though the score looked perfect, attack Eric Overbay felt like the team had plenty of errors that need to be cleaned up to finish undefeated down the last leg of the season. Lambert had not played a game since a 7-6 win over Westminster on April 2.
“I definitely expected a better game tonight,” Overbay said. “I knew we should have gone in and gotten a win, but the team played really well. The defense was so good, and Strump had a monster game tonight.”
Lambert has just five games to go before their eager return to the postseason. After winning state in 2012 and finishing runner-up in 2013 and 2014, the team fell in the first round of the playoffs to Pope last year. Overbay doesn't think the team is playing its best, but he thinks they're close.
“We're getting there,” Overbay said. “We're still a little sloppy on our execution, and against playoff teams they'll capitalize on that. Heading toward the playoffs, this is the time of the year that makes or breaks you, so we really need to step it up now.”
West (8-6) is in more dire territory. The Wolverines have gone 4-6 since a 4-0 start and Thursday's game was their first time being shutout all year. The lack of scoring was not because of the lack of opportunity, as West applied most of the offensive pressure in the first half but struggled with shot accuracy. Lambert ran away with eight goals in the second half.
“Lambert's just a good team, a great defensive team,” West head coach John Laden said. “Obviously we're a little disappointed with tonight's result. We think we should have scored against them, but we've got games ahead of us and need to refocus.”
West has three area games left, including Tuesday against South Forsyth (6-8) and Friday at Alpharetta (6-4). Winning both games will secure a playoff spot for the Wolverines.
“We're still confident that we can play and compete in the state playoffs,” Laden said. West's Reed Bagwell, headed to Jacksonville University after this season, applied most of the pressure for the Wolverines on the night.
Lambert had multi-goal efforts as Matt O'Rourk, Johny DiVirglio and Grant Plaugher scored two, while Trey Arnold, Alex Walker and Patrick Phelan scored individual goals.
West goalkeeper Carson Smith had six saves, while Lambert won clean draw controls 9-2, with Trey Arnold registering four controls and Trevor Holmes taking in three.