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Boys’ soccer brings region title to Lithia Springs
by E. Marcel Pourtout
mpourtout@neighbornewspapers.com
April 02, 2014 10:36 AM | 875 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / E. Marcel Pourtout<br>From left, senior Jason Barrera and freshman Oscar Uriostegui before a match against Allatoona last Thursday afternoon.
Staff / E. Marcel Pourtout
From left, senior Jason Barrera and freshman Oscar Uriostegui before a match against Allatoona last Thursday afternoon.
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The Lithia Springs boys’ soccer team endured a difficult 2013 campaign, placing last in Region 5-AAAAA due to points lost on forfeited matches because of an academic incident. The Lions also entered this season with a new head coach, David Ubriaco.

Lithia Springs has responded with one its best seasons in program history, sitting at 10 wins and securing the program’s first-ever region championship, which was clinched with a 3-1 road victory over Villa Rica on March 26.

“We’re excited for the players and this has been the best rehabilitation for the program after last season,” Ubriaco said.

“We want to uplift the entire Lithia Springs athletic department and be the concrete foundation that every other program can build upon.”

The Lions’ success begins with a stingy defense that hasn’t allowed more than two goals in a single contest this season and boasts four shutouts.

Ubriaco said sophomore goalkeeper Daren Portillo has been “a standout performer who has owned the position with quickness, agility and an ability to read the game.”

Lithia Springs’ offense has averaged more than three goals scored per match, led by junior midfielders Fernando Ramirez and Alex Martinez.

“Fernando is one of our captains and has set the tone for the team by making sure that everyone is well conditioned,” Ubriaco said.

“Alex is a silent professional who is one of our most versatile players.”

The leading goal scorers for the Lions have been junior Joshua Morgan Jr. and Carlos Zambrano.

“We want to try our best to keep playing good soccer as a team,” freshman winger Oscar Uriostegui said.

Senior forward Jason Barrera said “we have a chance to do well in the playoffs if we continue to work hard.”

The rest of Lithia Springs’ regular season will include contests against quality programs such as Douglas County, River Ridge and defending Class 6A state champions Berkmar Thursday.

Ubriaco said, “We have work to be done before the playoffs such as controlling the middle of the field, attacking fast, pressing high and stabilizing our defensive line while fighting every minute of the game.”

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