By Mark Robinson
By a score of 5-0, the Greenbrier East boys soccer team took down James Monroe Tuesday evening, dominating the time of possession and the number of shots on goal. Ian McManamay scored two goals, and Jodice Shanklin, Scott Perry and Sam Snyder each scored one.
Coach Lucas Lemine spoke after the game. “We finally put some good practices together, and got out here today and did it. We can never complain about surface, playing on turf, and it showed today. We had over 400 passes in the entire game, 200 in each half. We had over 30 pass strings, which is three passes or more consecutively, keeping possession. James Monroe packed it back and played good defense, getting everybody behind the ball and doing their job, have to give them a lot of credit,” he said.
Perry and McManamay scored later in the first half, and in the second half the team produced three goals, and the passing was improved. Lemine: “We had over 21 shots on goal. We didn’t change anything at halftime, I just got on them. After the first half we were up 2-0. They were all walking or jogging with their heads down. I tried to explain the difference between their expectations and actually wanting something. Your expectations tend to drag you down, but if you want something it will always raise you up if you want it, and you want to go get it. That was the difference in the second half.”
On defense, the Spartans have continued to play a defense that focuses on space, rather than on a man. Lemine commented on that: “It has helped us a lot defensively, but it’s taken away a little bit from our attack. Our focus needs to be on keeping the ball out of the back of the net. This team can always score, it’s never been an issue during my tenure coaching. We’ve been able to score goals. The question has always been can we keep the ball out of the back of the net.”
Ian McManamay, a freshman, has grown incredibly throughout the season. “McManamay stepped up, played really well. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Where he goes, we will go; he can take us as a freshman,” Lemine said. McManamay had a beautiful assist to set up Perry with the first goal, then McManamay added two more of his own, one a quick left-footed stab right in front of the goal that zipped by the goalie before he had time to react. His ability to put passes in exactly the right place is uncanny.
Travis Allen, coach of James Monroe, spoke after the game. “East has a really good fast team. We have fast kids too, but East is really fast. They have speed to burn. In the second half they started shooting shots from 25 yards out. Whenever they start shooting from the outside it opens up stuff on the outside and the inside.”
During the game, Allen jumped on a player on the bench for using inappropriate language. “They know. They’ll see consequences for that tomorrow. Our kids are good at being calm on the field and not using language. We’ve played against other teams that use a lot of language, and our kids say ‘Wow, I didn’t know they could do that,’ and I’m like, ‘No, they can’t.’”
Lemine sets the same standard on East’s team. It makes games much more pleasant to watch, and to hear, he said.