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Spotlight will be on stars in tonight's final

Both Crystal River and Citrus have dominators plus other firepower.

Chris Webb and Alex Posta weren't the only players on the field for Crystal River and Citrus on Wednesday. It just seemed that way.

That's how dominant and impressive their performances were in leading the Pirates and Hurricanes into tonight's Class 2A, District 5 final.

Posta accounted for all of Citrus' goals in a thrilling 3-2 win over Leesburg, including two in the final 12 minutess.

Webb dominated in every phase of the game, controlling the midfield offensively and defensively, assisting on three goals, and scoring another in a 4-0 win over Lecanto.

Both Citrus coach Tom Darby and Crystal River's Dave Soluri will be looking for similar efforts when the teams square off tonight.

"It really is going to take one person from one of the teams to step up and do what the others can't," Soluri said. "Chris Webb was everywhere (Wednesday) and we're going to need the same kind of effort (tonight)."

Of course, none of this comes as much of a surprise to teammates or to fans of either team. Posta and Webb have been leaders on the field since their first days of youth competition. Webb (11 goals, 10 assists) has anchored the Crystal River middle for the last three years and is a force on both offense and defense. He can be physical or, like Wednesday, he can put on amazing displays of skill.

And then there is Posta, a sophomore who set records for scoring in youth leagues and has led Citrus County in scoring the past two years. Posta, who scored his 22nd, 23rd and 24th goals against the Yellow Jackets, may be the best pure goal scorer in Citrus County since Jeffrey Cunningham suited up for the Pirates.

"He has great skills," Soluri said. "He has an excellent shot and great speed. We'll need to set our defense up to protect against him."

Of course, that still may not be enough. To focus soly on Posta and Webb is to ignore several other players who can beat you.

Citrus striker Dimitrios Dalkalitsis (18 goals) is considered by many to be equal to Posta as a threat, while Crystal River forwards Donnie Caldwell (21 goals, nine assists) and Andres Sandoval (17 goals, two in the semifinal) add offensive punch equal to that of the Citrus duo.

"Actually, that would help us," Webb said. "We have other people to go to if they put a man on me. Our forwards are really fast. Give them a good pass and they'll finish it."

Chris Webb, rear, and Andres Sandoval celebrate after Sandoval scored the first goal in Crystal River's 4-0 district semifinal victory over Lecanto. Webb controlled the midfield offensively and defensively, assisted on three goals, and scored another. Sandoval scored another goal to raise his season total to 17. Webb, Sandoval and teammate Donnie Caldwell will put their scoring prowess up against Citrus' Alex Posta and Dimitrios Dalkalitsis.