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Citrus United boys aim higher

You have to figure that, at this point, it's all gravy for the Citrus United under-13 boys soccer team. It already has done what no other Citrus County team has _ qualifying for the Region C final four _ so what's left to prove?

Plenty, if you ask this group of boys, who are determined to take this journey all the way to the President's Cup finals later this spring.

But for now they'll stick to the business at hand, like their first opponent in this weekend's Region C championship at the Lake Parker Soccer Complex in Lakeland _ the home team Lakeland Lazers.

"We've had a great season. No matter what happens, it's been a great season," said United coach Ray Wells. "But we're going for it. The end of the regular season was kind of disappointing for us. (The championship) was ours to win and we didn't. So we're going for this."

As Wells alluded to, the seeds of this success were sewn nearly two month ago when United was denied its regular-season championship after lackluster efforts resulted in three ties in the closing weeks. However, of the three teams that vied for the regular season title, only United is still alive in the race for the President's Cup.

Leading the way for United is superstar forward Alex Posta, who must have local high school coaches drooling in anticipation of his arrival in two years. The seventh-grader has notched an amazing 53 goals this season and was a major spark in United's three wins this weekend.

Posta found the back of the net seven times over the weekend, sparking United to wins over Brandon (2-1), Naples (5-1) and Tampa's Town N'Country (3-1 on his hat trick). Also key in the wins was the switching of forward Kyle Griffin to sweeper, which solidified United's defense.

"That made a big difference on defense," Wells said. "He's an intense player and he clears the ball really well. He also communicates well with the rest of the defense."

This weekend's competition looks to be impressive, and Posta and his United teammates will surely have their work cut out for them. However, if they do win the Region C championship, they will advance to the President's Cup finals to fight it out with the three other region champions.

United will play the Lazers Saturday morning in the first of two semifinals. The winner of that game will take on the winner of the game between the Highland Supersonics and the Lee County Strikers for the championship at 9 a.m. Sunday.

Alex Posta practices his ball-handling skills. The seventh-grader has notched an amazing 53 goals this season and was a major spark in United's three wins this weekend, scoring a total of seven goals.

Citrus United roster

Josh Caldwell, midfield

Bradley Deitemeyer, goalkeeper

Kyle Griffin, forward/sweeper

Austin Johnson, forward

Jessie Johnston, midfield

Kyle Nayfield, midfield/defense

Alex Posta, forward

B.J. Prack, defense/midfield

Greg Schell, utility

Derrick Vaccianna, stopper

Bryce Wilder, defense/midfield

Chase Wilder, defense/midfield

Head coach: Ray Wells

Assistant coach: Mike Callaway

Team physician: K.C. Nayfield

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