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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Greenbrier East set for tonight’s Capital challenge

When Greenbrier East takes the field tonight in the boys’ Region 3 final at the YMCA Youth Sports Complex in Beckley, it won’t be the rematch with No. 2 Woodrow Wilson the Spartans were looking forward to playing.

Instead, the Spartans will face off with No. 5 Capital, which ended the Flying Eagles’ season with a 2-1 victory Tuesday.

“The only plus in playing Capital is that it’s not a home game for them,” East coach Thomas Karrs said. “(Capital) is very talented and I think they’re a very evenly matched team. Hopefully, we can compete with them. We did not do real well with Capital in our first match with them. I’m confident that we can play better.”

Greenbrier East (13-7-2) fell to the Cougars 5-0 Oct. 6 after battling to an emotional tie game with Woodrow just two days earlier.

“I don’t know if we were a little flat or they were just that good that night,” Karrs said. “It was their Senior Night. They were pumped up and scored a really quick goal. It was raining and that was not our best game by any means. We didn’t play well that evening.”

Karrs doesn’t believe he’ll see a repeat performance with a trip to the state tournament on the line.

“I think the fact that they really had their way with us down at Capital will motivate our guys,” he said. “It was really a one-sided game. We didn’t play well and they did. That’s never a good combination.”

The leading offensive threat for the Spartans has been Logan Hollar. The forward has racked up several key goals to spark East offensively.

“Logan has definitely been an offensive threat,” Karrs said. “He’s become a proficient goal scorer, and if we can spring him loose, maybe we can get a goal or two through Logan. Lucas Lemine, the center midfielder, has been able to find him in the last several games and that has allowed Logan to attack the goal.”

Jake Glasser complements Hollar at the other forward position.

“He’s developed into a nice left-sided forward,” Karrs said. “That’s sort of evened us out a little bit there. Hopefully, that can continue.”

Lemine was a key performer for the Spartans in the semifinal victory over Shady Spring. Lemine scored two goals and had two assists in the 6-0 win.

“He was very productive,” Karrs said. “We need (Lemine) to have a big game. We also need our defense to step up and play aggressive, because if you don’t clear the ball on Capital, they’re going to punish you. There’s no doubt about it.”

Defense will be the key for East. The Spartans will need big games from midfielders, Berkeley Miller, Christian Karrs and Ethan Beard, and keeper Andrew Shreifer.

“Capital is a very good team,” Karrs said. “They are without a doubt one of the best teams in the state. They move the ball well. They’re quick. They’re athletic. That’s what you want to play. You want your team to play against good competition. Hopefully, we can rise to the occasion.”

The Region 3 title will be decided at 7:30 p.m. on Field Two at the YMCA Youth Sports Complex.

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