Tampa Catholic coach Kevin McCarron said on Friday morning that player absences over the holiday period had led to his side’s withdrawl from the High School Soccer Classic, allowing Berkeley Prep to take its place in the event.
The Crusaders, who were already without sweeper Kevin Carter to injury, lost another pair of starters to family commitments during the tournament. That led McCarron to make the decision to allow the Buccaneers to take their place.
“I started thinking about it, and I’m thinking, ‘I’m down three starters, and Berkeley’s not in, and that doesn’t even seem right,’ ” McCarron said. “So I called Tim Cooper and I said ‘Look, we’re not going to be as competitve as we need to be for this level of tournament, and you’re not in it and you’re defending champions, would you be interested?’ And of course he said that he was thrilled.”
The Crusaders defeated Lake Gibson on Thursday night 4-3, two goals apiece from Andrew Buckley and Matt Moore allowing them to rally from a 2-1 halftime deficit. The Crusaders have one more game, at Orlando Bishop Moore next Thursday, before the holiday break before an arduous schedule in the new year that sees them play seven game in 13 days before the Class 3A-District 10 tournament.