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Luke Karen, Andrew Lule form quite the 1-2 punch for Glenn soccer

Luke Karen #17 of Glenn, left, gets pressured

Luke Karen #17 of Glenn, left, gets pressured by Logan Whitall #22 of Southampton during a Suffolk League VI boys soccer game at Glenn High School on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. Photo Credit: James Escher

There is a short list of Glenn boys soccer players who have scored 20 goals in a season.

Before this year, there were six. David Hausch topped the chart, provided to Newsday by coach Lou Hanner, with 25 goals in 1985. Peter Callaghan (22) was the last to eclipse the mark, in 2007.

Luke Karen wanted to join the club, but what transpired this season surprised him.

“I didn’t really think this would happen,” said Karen, who scored his 26th, 27th and 28th goals in the Knights’ regular-season finale on Wednesday. “My goal at the beginning of the year was 20 goals.”

Karen accomplished the feat alongside teammate Andrew Lule, who finished the regular season with 20 goals. Together, they are No. 1 and No. 2 in Suffolk.

“He’s been my best friend growing up, so to be able to do it together it’s great,” Karen said. “There’s no one else I would like to share this with more than him.”

The proof is in the countless hours Karen and Lule spent training together to prepare for their senior year. They were fueled by an upset loss to eventual state champion Amityville in the 2015 Suffolk Class A semifinals, and begged Hanner to leave a goal on the practice field for the summer.

Glenn’s maintenance staff obliged, and anyone who drove by the field was likely to see Karen and Lule kicking a ball around.

“They thrive off each other,” Hanner said.

Karen’s production increased with his expanded role this year. As the secondary forward behind Hunter Allen in 2015, he scored 10 times. This year, Lule has sparked the Knights’ potent offense (82-9 scoring margin) in the midfield while Karen has succeeded Allen up front.

“Andrew sets Luke up for a lot of these goals,” Hanner said. “[Karen] puts himself into the right positions to get on the end of balls that come across. Teams have had a hard time containing him.”

And as a result, they’ve had a hard time containing Glenn (15-0-1).

“Our goal is to make it to the state finals and win,” said Karen, a four-year varsity player. “We feel as a team we could have beaten Amityville and Amityville went on to win. It was like, OK that could have been us. Anything less than that and we’ll be disappointed.”


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