East and Central girls prepare for State Title rematch

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When you think about the best version of the capital city clash, you might think about football or one of the many epic battles at Storey Gym.

But you might be wrong. That's because tomorrow night.. a rematch of last years girls state soccer championship will take place at Riske field.

"It's going to be fun and exciting and a really tough game. Especially because they are going to come out with a lot of fire because we beat them in the state championship. They've got a little fire in them." said East's Senior Goalkeeper Shayne Carter.

"I love every single one of those girls. We've played since we were little but as soon as we step on the field. GAMETIME! You just kinda forget all of the memories cause it's time to take them down. It'll be a good game for sure." said East Senior Defender Makenzie Drake.

The reigning state champion Lady T-Birds knocked off Central in a shootout in last year's final game.

So add that fact to the level of intensity we always expect out of this crosstown rivalry.

The good news for East Head Coach Jim Gardner is the faces on his team haven't changed much.

9 of 11 starters are back including Shayne Carter in goal and the team's top three goal scorers and leaders in assists

Gardner knows that Central is returning lots of experience as well.
but as with any coach, he'll look to exploit what he views as the team's weaknesses.

"Tyrell's a good player. Madi (Barber) is playing college ball. They've got some young kids on the field. I think maybe keeping wise there are some new people out there. At least a freshman in goal. So, that could be a weakness possibly. We'll see if we can exploit that. But overall, I really think they are a solid team. Good speed, good control of the ball. It should be a good game." said Gardner

These teams are very familiar with each other. Girls from both sides have played with and against each other since they were kids.

And they met four times last year, both regular season games ended in a tie but East won in the regional tournament and at state.

That brings us to Central, the Lady Indians have to replace 4 starters and one of those is at goal.

Kacee Walsh graduated and stepping in her place is freshman Abby Fearneyhough and coach Scott Foster has no worries about the lack of experience in the net for Fearneyhough in this high pressure game

"She's very relaxed and very confident. So, I don't think she needs much preparation beyond what is our normal standard in practice. Getting a lot of shots on her and giving her some good coaching." said Foster.

Coach Foster also said it doesnt matter that the game is at home because it is East vs Central so anything goes.

Central will get more of a measuring stick on where their season can go because of the freshman who are know starters for the Indians.

Tristan Tyrell has a little extra motivation this year since plays on a travelling team with the Erickson sisters.

"Yeah it's going to be interesting playing against them. I always enjoy it because it makes the competition a little more higher cause you want to win." said Tyrell

"I think it's good to play the hardest team first because then you know what you're up against. I think we are going to go out and play hard." Abbie Nordyke, who is a Senior Defender for Central, said during practice Thursday.

"They've always been good competition for us so it gives us the opportunity to measure each other early on and see what we need to do. The expectation is we'll probably be seeing each other again later in the season." said Foster

The rankings were released Wednesday and Central is number 1 and East is number 2.

Game time is 6pm at Riske field, Friday.

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