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Lecanto at Ponte Vedra Beach Nease

By KELLIE DIXON
Published February 1, 2007


About Lecanto (11-6-5)

The Panthers are a quick-touch team that likes to counterattack, push the ball up the field as quickly as possible and pressure the defense into making mistakes. Lecanto used this approach to knock off Belleview in the district semis and earn a playoff bid.

"We try to put as many numbers in the offensive end as we can, and we hope we have a person in the right spot to get a goal," Lecanto coach Doug Warren said.

Clean sweep: The defense is solidifying around sophomore Chris Lim, who has stepped in as the Panthers' new sweeper since Tyler Deem got hurt.

Players to watch: Tyler Jordan, a fearless junior goalkeeper with a knack for organizing the defense and being there if a ball slips through. Brian Aleman and Mike Burnett, on a team that seems to have someone new step up every game, the forwards tend to be playmakers.

About Nease (19-3-1)

In his first season, Ken Kirsch helped lead the Panthers to their fourth district title in five seasons.

The three Ps: Kirsch's philosophy is simple - possession, physical and pressure. The Panthers have found success in possessing the ball, playing physical (not dirty, Kirsch noted) and pressuring the opposition into making mistakes. Nease, typically a team that likes to build from the back and dictate tempo, can be a quick-strike squad if the chance is there.

Players to watch: Ryan Corning, a versatile midfielder/defender with size, speed, touch and vision. He's got a leg that can boot the ball 60 yards if necessary. Jacksonville University is showing interest in the senior. Joe McKinley, a skilled junior forward with soccer savvy. Ian Svilokos, a senior midfielder with explosive speed and an ability to disrupt.

If you go

Boys Region Quarterfinals

When: 7 p.m. today

Admission: $6

St. Augustine (10-7-2) at Crystal River (16-3-4)

Up next: Today's winner faces the winner of Celebration (9-10-2)/Pasco (19-0-2) on Tuesday.

Lecanto (11-6-5) at Ponte Vedra Beach Nease (19-3-1)

Up next: The winner advances to play the winner of Springstead (13-2-6)/Orlando Bishop Moore (16-6-2) on Tuesday.

Directions: Nease High School 10550 Ray Road, Ponte Vedra -

Take 491 N to Fl-200 N. From Fl-200 merge onto I-75 N ramp on the left. Drive 3.5 miles. Take exit 354/US-27 toward Ocala. Turn on US-27 and continue south for 2.1 miles. Turn left on NW Pine Ave. (US-301). Drive 1.5 miles. Follow US-301 N for 27.1 miles. Turn right onto S.E. Hawthorne Rd. (Fl-20 East) for 25 miles. Turn left onto State Rd. 10 (Fl-19) for 1.3 miles. Turn right on Reid Street and drive 2.6 miles. Reid Street becomes US-17 South. Continue 2 miles. Turn left on FL-207 N; go 19.5 miles. Turn left onto I-95 N go 18 miles. Take exit No. 329 toward Green Cove Springs/Ponte Verde Beach. Turn on CR-210, go 3.3 miles. Turn on US-1, go 0.5 miles. Make a sharp turn on Ray Road, go .3 miles to high school.