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Lady Raiders play Prep for MPSA crown

By By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
Oct. 8, 2003
The Lamar School girls' soccer team is right were it expected to be at the end of the season in the Mississippi Private School Association state championship game.
The Lady Raiders (8-6-1) earned a berth in the finals with a 1-0 win over the Starkville Academy Lady Volunteers Monday at Northeast Park.
Lamar will face host Jackson Prep (10-5-2) at 3 p.m. Thursday in the championship game in Jackson.
"It's confidence, the girls knew they could do it," said Lady Raiders head coach Eddie Escobar. "Last year, it was more let's see what we can do, and this year, we expected to get to the finals. We were talking about getting to the finals at the beginning of the season. Come Thursday, it will come down to which team wants it the most. I think we'll be ready."
Lamar's trip to the final MPSA girls' soccer game of the season was a long time coming for the team.
Last year, the Lady Raiders appeared to be on their way to the championship game, as they took a 2-0 lead in a semifinal game against Pillow Academy.
Lamar was unable to hold on to its advantage, and the team eventually fell 3-2 in the second-round match up.
"I think we are overdue for this," said Lady Raiders goalkeeper Cheryl Luquire, who recorded the shutout win against Starkville. "We should of had this last year, and it is time we made our mark."
The Lady Raiders had a shot at playing the championship game on their home field at Northeast Park at the end of the season.
Lamar finished the regular season tied for first with Jackson Prep and Presbyterian Christian School. The Lady Raiders lost the deciding coin flip and ended up third in the division.
Despite not having the home field advantage, Escobar said his team will just have to play its game, which is based on short crisp passes and attacking from the wings.
"Our game is just spreading the field out and getting good crosses in from the side" Escobar said.
Lamar met Jackson Prep once during the regular season. The Lady Raiders lost the contest 1-0.