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Soccer: Longhorns explode for 5 goals in win over Peachtree Ridge
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Jared Carter attempts a throw-in Tuesday during Lambert's 5-2 win against Peachtree Ridge in the second round of the Class 7A playoffs. - photo by Jacob Smith

Lambert head coach Chris Wilson had WPFM printed on the back of the Longhorns' practice shirts before the season started.

The acronym means “We Play for May,” making their end goal to have the season continue into the Class 7A playoffs in May. 

The Longhorns achieved their goal Tuesday after winning their second-round game of the state tournament, 5-2, against Peachtree Ridge.

“They fulfilled the minimum of what we wanted to accomplish,” Wilson said. “We knew we were going to be challenged, and it’s a challenge we needed to have. It can only better prepare us for the next round.” 

The Longhorns were on fire offensively, scoring their first two goals of the game within the first 10 minutes. Wilson said that is right on par for their entire season. 

“Our practices are built to where we start right away,” he said. “We end where we just cross and finish and get after it. It’s so important to train the way you want to play.” 

Both goals were scored off corner kicks. 

Julian Cuervo sent the first ball perfectly to the head of James Cash for the first goal. Jared Carter sent the next corner kick minutes later into Cash once again, but instead of finding the back of the net, he headed the ball to Chase Bell, who sent a line drive to the left of the Peachtree Ridge goalie for the second goal. 

The half ended 2-1, but Lambert came back out ready to keep scoring. 

Colin Vogel scored in the sixth minute of the second half off of a chip pass from Yeonsung Lee. A Lambert own-goal on a Peachtree Ridge corner kick brought the score back to 3-2, but Lee sprinted past a Peachtree Ridge defender on a breakaway to score the fourth goal of the game with 23 minutes left. 

“The nice thing is that the goals are coming from a bunch of guys,” Wilson said. “We have multiple guys that can score. We saw Yeonsung hit a full sprint and find out he had wheels. We always say you have to beat a team by either going around, over or through them, and I think we did that with our goals tonight.” 

Vogel added his second goal of the game off a Bell assist to solidify the 5-2 win and make Wilson comfortable enough to sub some of his starters out of the game. Tuesday night’s five goals were the most goals Lambert has scored in a game all season. 

“We’re on a streak,” Wilson said. “This group has depth. Is this team a state championship team? If we stay disciplined, we could. If our offense stays this hot, we could. We’ve scored nine goals in two playoff games. If we can’t be motivated by that, I don’t know what we will be.”

The Longhorns were missing both Santino Barrionuevo and Mason Keith in the game due to quarantines. 

Lambert entered the playoffs as the No. 3 team out of Region 6-7A, but hosted the second-round game Tuesday night after Peachtree Ridge upset Alpharetta in the first round. 

Wilson said it was an unexpected surprise to get one more game at home.

“They got a nice reward by winning the first-round game,” Wilson said. 

All four teams out of Region 6-7A moved onto the Elite Eight Tuesday night. The Longhorns will face Region 3-7A champions Walton in the Class 7A quarterfinals.

And for the Longhorns season goal, the game will be played next Wednesday, on May 5.