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IL United soccer team showing some progress its indoor soccer league

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By Robert Howey

The Indian Land United indoor soccer team took an early exit from the playoffs, but coach Tony Sweatt said the season was a success.

The IL United, in its second season playing in the Charlotte area league, fashioned a 5-2-1 record.

The United went 5-1-1 in regular-season play, but lost to Ardrell Kell 4-0 in the playoffs on Saturday night (Feb. 9) at the Sports Connection in Charlotte. The team finished fourth in a 12-team league heading into postseason play.

The 2006 Indian Land United posted only one win.

We definitely made improvement this season, Sweatt said. I felt we had a good, little soccer team. This is a good group of players.

The indoor league, which features continuous play, begins in November and continues to February. A majority of the matches are played on Saturday nights.

The play is fast-paced and youre on the move all the time, Sweatt said. The good part is that its a league to keep the players active during the winter. It helps them stay in shape over the winter and be prepared for the outdoor season.

Soccer is a game of skill and you need all the practice you can get, Sweatt said. I felt the team played well together and hopefully this will help them for the outdoor high school season.

The team wrapped up regular-season play with a 4-3 win Feb. 2 and the victory was dedicated to Indian Land High School student and soccer player Derek Hammaker, who died Jan. 28 following an auto accident the previous day.

Hammaker, an IL senior, played on the 2006 Indian Land United squad.

When the players broke the team huddle, they said peace out in memory of Derek, Sweatt said.

The 2007 Indian Land United featured 12 players, nine from the Indian Land area including Emmanuel Cabrera, Josh Hinson, Luke Lambert, Alfredo Lavieri, Jacob McIntosh, Brandon Smith, Anthony Sweatt, Patrick Sweatt and Carson Thomas,

The IL United also had three players from other area schools Michael Arezalo (South Pointe High School of Rock Hill), Michael Tibliey (York) and Scott Warren (Fort Mill).

Anthony Sweatt led the team in scoring with 24 goals. Smith tallied six goals. Lavieri, Cabrera, Lambert and Arezalo each tallied three goals. Patrick Sweatt and Tibliey scored two goals apiece and Warren had one goal.

We had a good year and made progress from last year, Sweatt said. We had a lot of support at our matches and we appreciate all of those who came out to cheer for our team. I hope it helps the high school team this season. The more they play together, the better they will be.

The Indian Land High School team opens its season in a preseason county tournament the Red Rose Classic at Lancaster Memorial Stadium on Feb. 29 when the Warriors meet host Lancaster at 7:30 p.m.

IL plays Andrew Jackson at 11:30 a.m. and Buford at 2 p.m. on March 1. Indian Lands first regular-season match is at Westminster Catawba on March 3.