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PCAC final: Fresh faces help East Lake earn title

PINELLAS PARK — Cameron Coughlin and Riley Lester picked a good time to score their first goals of the season.

The East Lake duo joined three other teammates who scored Friday night to lift the Eagles to a 5-1 victory over Pinellas Park in the Pinellas County Athletic Conference boys championship game.

"This is what I've always wanted since I've been in high school," said Riley, who made the team for the first time as a senior. "I know the playoffs are coming and I won't get to play much, so this was a good time to score."

Lester said this was only his second goal in the three years.

"This is definitely better than scoring in just any other game," he said. "It feels great."

Pinellas Park (8-2-2) started the game outshooting East Lake 4-2, but during that span Nicholas Patterson scored on a long pass from Javon Bastic and the Eagles led early 1-0.

The Patriots had only two shots on goal the rest of the half and only two shots in the second half.

"Pinellas Park came to play," said East Lake coach Sergei Stopek. "They had speed. They were organized. In the beginning it was tight all the way until about 30 minutes left in game. Then it opened up for us."

The Eagles' Chas Putzel scored on a corner kick for a 2-0 lead and Tyler Allen put the Patriots on the scoreboard 13 minutes into the second half to pull to within 2-1.

It proved to be the last shot Pinellas Park would take.

On consecutive shots within 10 minutes, Brent Merrick, Lester and Coughlin scored for the Eagles (15-1-2) to put the game away.

"It was so exciting to see Cameron score," Stopek said. "He works so hard day in and day out. The whole team appreciated Riley's goals. He's always wanted to be a part of this."

Stopek said this was East Lake's first PCAC title in 11 years.

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PCAC final: Fresh faces help East Lake earn title 01/22/10 [Last modified: Saturday, January 23, 2010 12:05am]
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