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Greensburg Salem boys keep playoff hopes alive

| Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
Erica Dietz | Valley News Dispatch
Greensburg Salem's Nathan Osikowicz drives the ball past Valley at Valley High School on September 26, 2013.
Erica Dietz | Valley News Dispatch
Greensburg Salem's Connoe Jobe drives the ball at Valley High School on September 26, 2013.

Although the season is not yet over, the Greensburg Salem boys soccer team has already performed up to expectations and has shown plenty of resolve.

Greensburg Salem entered the week 5-6 overall and 4-5 in Section 1-AA. The Golden Lions started the season by winning four of seven games, including a huge 1-0 win over section rival Valley in the second game of the season.

“The guys have been playing together for a number of years,” coach John Lynch said. “This group seems more adept to working together than teams in past years. They are a little tighter knit, and the amount of experience is a factor.”

Last season, Greensburg Salem was able to scrap together only one section win, finishing with a 3-14 record.

“They needed to be more of a team than they were last year. They had to pass the ball and trust the other players,” Lynch said.

Senior Lukas Mangery leads the team with 12 goals, and senior midfield David Milburn has seven.

Greensburg Salem lost to Section 1-AA leader Burrell (9-2, 7-2) 1-0 on Sept. 12. After winning four of the first seven games, the Golden Lions lost three section games in a row, including a tough 2-1 loss to Indiana on Sept. 17, where Greensburg Salem was leading at half.

The Golden Lions will have to win all their section games and will need some teams above them to lose to qualify for the postseason.

“I'm very happy with how the team came together no matter (what happens with the playoffs),” Lynch said. “This is a real group of kids that was able to bounce back from a tough season like last year.”

Even with their backs against the wall, Mangery, one of the team captains, is confident he and his teammates can win out and make the playoffs.

“It's going to be tough. I think the team is very capable of doing it,” Mangery said. “We have a lot talent on the team. The team has tons of experience, but we have to use it in the correct way in order for us to win.”

No matter the result of the season, Mangery wants to be remembered for setting a good example for the underclassmen and to be proud of their season.

“This year, we are a way more confident team. We are doing well in the section,” Mangery said. “It's not going to be easy; we just need to work together and try the best we can. That's what we should be proud of.”

Andrew John is a freelance writer.

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