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BOYS SOCCER

BOYS SOCCER: Papio South hoping to make championship game heading into state

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Titans celebrate Bichler goal.JPG

The Titans celebrate the opening goal in the A-3 District final on Wednesday, May 4, scored by Ethan Bichler (No. 19 wearing black).

One year removed from a pedestrian 9-8 season, Papio South comes into the boys soccer state tournament at 15-4 and District A-3 champions.

In their district final, the Titans hosted Omaha South, the two-time defending state champions, and dominated the second half on the way to a 3-1 win.

"We've known all year, even going into the year, that we were good enough to win state if we stay healthy, if we continue to play hard and we take advantage of our chances, and we've done that all year," head coach Dave Lawrence said. "We haven't really had a bad loss this year, the teams we lost to (Gretna twice, Skutt Catholic and Bryan) were all really good... We're hoping to be in that championship game, that's our goal, from the beginning of the year."

"I feel like if we play with the intensity and precision that we did (against Omaha South), I think we could take it all the way," added senior Andre Santamaria, who set the single-season record for goals at Papio South in the district final.

The Titans will play against Omaha Bryan in the state quarterfinals at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Morrison Stadium. The Titans lost 2-0 away to the Bears on April 21.

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