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Demons douse Blazers to secure state tourney berth

Special to the C-I (Camden, S.C.)

Posted: April 26, 2012 3:03 p.m.
Updated: April 27, 2012 5:00 a.m.

It is a high school coach’s double-edged sword of winning the game and developing the character of his players.  Sometimes, those two thoughts collide in an unfavorable fashion.
That happened to Lugoff-Elgin boys’ soccer head coach Matt Brosius last Thursday night in a game against Covenant Central.
In the previous meeting between the two sides, the Demons easily handled the Cougars. This meeting would be much different.
Covenant’s defense and goalkeeper were able to deflect a barrage of shots on goal from the Demons --- 26, to be exact --- with only finding the mark from by junior Robert Frame. On the other end of the field, Covenant had only two shots on goal, both were easily saved by L-
E goalkeeper Kyle Brosius.
The issue for the Demons came when two fouls in the box led a pair of Cougar penalty kicks which yielded two goals. The team breakdown led to yellow cards for key players and several issues between team members on the field in a match won by Covenant, 2-1.
The next night, L-E traveled to meet the Blythewood Bengals for the first time this season. The team started out on a down note, with some of the regular starters benched for a portion of the first half due to their conduct from the Covenant game.
In the end, not playing with those players did not seem to make much of a difference ---  even after they were entered into the game --- in what was a 5-0 loss to the Bengals.
The defeat left Brosius and company’s playoff hopes hanging by a thread with only a win over Ridge View on Tuesday allowing the Demons to earn a spot in the 4A state playoffs.
The Blazers came to Lugoff-Elgin Stadium with payback on their minds. The last several games between the teams have ended in a penalty kick shoot-out with L-E coming out on the winning side each time.
Coach Brosius regrouped his Demons to play as a team, with all the regular starters on the pitch. The hosts got on the board first with action inside the 18 yard line and an eventual goal from junior Garrett Heins off an assist from Henry Edmonds for a 1-0 Demons’ lead.
The Blazers answered with a strong shot on goal that was deflected by the L-E keeper, but an RV teammate was prepared to take the ricochet shot making it 1-1 at the half.
With playoff hopes pinned on this game by both teams, it came down to which team wanted it more. L-E captain, junior Zach Hellman, served up a free kick that started a chain of events leading to a goal by classmate Kyle Miller.
The Demons held off the fighting Blazers for the remainder of the game to take the 2-1 win to earn a spot in the playoffs. L-E will head to Mount Pleasant to meet Wando on Tuesday, May 8.
The Demons have a full plate for the remainder of the regular season. After having played host to rival Camden on Thursday, they will visit Irmo tonight and then play their last home game of the regular season against Blythewood on Wednesday, May 2.

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