By Mark Robinson
The Greenbrier East boys soccer team hosted Martinsburg Saturday, coming away with a 7-3 win. The Spartans hit the first two goals of the game, and gradually pulled away over the rest of the contest. The last goal punched in with about 30 seconds remaining.
Coach Lucas Lemine commented after the game, “We were out here at 9 a.m., we made an adjustment to the way we’re playing. We’re sticking with the same formation, and obviously the same players. Just making an adjustment. The guys went out, they did it. It worked. It was an adjustment in our defensive marking, we went to zonal. We are focusing on cutting off individual space or taking away individual space, instead of marking men. It worked today. It didn’t work great, and there are a lot of things we can work on, we just had one practice on it. Now I’ve got to do my job and get a lot better at zonal marking. I’ve never done it before, and never taught it before, so it’s something I’m good at, but I’ve got to do my part, so they can get better at it.”
The defense did appear to be intercepting a number of passes. The ball stayed in the East offense’s hands (feet) for much of the game.
“Offense: no change,” continued Lemine. “We still want to possess the ball and when we possess the ball and play to each other’s feet, good things happen. We have speed at every position, and that helps. And we have skill, and I’ve put kids in the right positions. Today it clicked a little bit, we’re still not where we want to be. In a progression I’d say we’re 70 percent of where we need to be, working up to that sectional opening game. We’re making progress.”
East has played nine games so far, with 11 to go. Their record is 4-5.
A number of observers have noted the play of freshman Ian McNanamay, #12. Lemine, in response to a question,was quick to describe the youngster. “He is extremely skilled for a freshmen,and I think his biggest asset is that he knows how to play. It’s not necessarily the skill set, and I’m not downplaying his skill set at all, he’s one of the more skilled players on the team. He understands how to play the game. He understands space and time. He’s played a lot, and he’s played a lot of travel ball,but I think it’s natural, it’s not necessarily something you can teach. Spatial awareness, I guess you can teach it … but when a kid already has it at a really young age, he’s just 14-15, just a freshmen, but he’s got it already, so it’s something he brings to the table for the program. He does a good job.”
McNanamay plays in the middle of the field much of the time, and made two beautiful passes in the first half to set up scores. Jodice Shanklin was impressive as usual, moving with the ball and setting up quick shots. With about 30 seconds left in the game he dribbled toward the goal and moved around a couple of players to make a shot that went by a rushing goalie. The Martinsburg coach, Justin Way, was impressed, and commented that Shanklin was a good test for his young players.
The next game is at Pikeview on Saturday; both the varsity and JV will play. Coach Lemine noted that Pikeview always provides a challenge, and will no doubt bring their best game.