Home > EL offense keeps humming in CAAC Cup semifinal win | USA Today High School Sports

EL offense keeps humming in CAAC Cup semifinal win | USA Today High School Sports

East Lansing's Quinton Hay beats Williamston's Caleb Schuiteman to the ball October 8, 2015, at the East Lansing Soccer Complex.

East Lansing’s Quinton Hay beats Williamston’s Caleb Schuiteman to the ball October 8, 2015, at the East Lansing Soccer Complex.

EAST LANSING — The East Lansing offensive attack was on display again in the CAAC Gold Cup on Thursday night at the East Lansing Soccer Complex, and it sent the Trojans to a championship date with league rival Grand Ledge.

East Lansing beat Williamston 5-2 in a semifinal match. The Trojans have now scored 11 goals in two CAAC Cup matches.

“All of a sudden these guys are scoring goals,” East Lansing coach Nick Archer said. “They were up and down but now they’ve started to raise their game.”

Five different Trojans scored in the contest. Sam Lebbie began things with a goal with 32:18 left in the first half. It came less than a minute after Lebbie missed a stretching header wide of the net on a crossing attempt.

Gynu Khatiwada scored the second goal of the half for the Trojans and East Lansing would have had a third first half goal if not for a missed penalty kick with 1:25 left before halftime.

“They came out and put us under extreme pressure and we didn’t deal with it very well,” Williamston coach Brent Sorg said. “We expected it. When we played them the first time that’s how we knew that they played and we figured out how to break it down and our guys were good and we were clean … (Today) we gave the ball away a lot and we just weren’t clean enough.”

East Lansing (15-3-1) got a third goal on a corner kick from Ian Carroll and the final two goals were provided by Joe Drahiem and Josh Wolfinger.

“We’re mostly a second half team and we’ve been the last few games. This game was definitely similar to that,” Wolfinger said. “After you score one, they just keep coming and it’s kept building us up.”

Draheim’s goal, which came on an assist from Zach Lane, quickly followed Williamston’s first score of the match from Josh Ward after a rebounded penalty kick.

“Coming off of a tough, physical, mentally-draining game Tuesday against DeWitt, it took a lot out of us,” Sorg said, referencing a quarterfinal win that came in the final minutes against the Panthers just two days earlier. “That’s the piece that was missing – the mentality, the sharpness of our play.”

East Lansing will take on Grand Ledge in the championship at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Holt High School. The Comets defeated Okemos in the other Gold Cup semifinal.

“They obviously have deserved to get this far like us and it’ll be a good game,” Wolfinger said.

Williamston (13-4) will meet Okemos in the third place game on Tuesday.

“We knew that all three games were going to be battles every game, and in my mind this absolutely prepares us for the state tournament,” Sorg said. “These Cup games take their toll on players and we had a relative recovery day (Wednesday) and I thought we had a decent warm up but we didn’t come in as sparked as we would have liked.”

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