Friday, January 29, 2010

Preps: Plant shakes region hex, will face Palm Harbor

It took overtime, but Plant's run of disappointment in the region playoffs is over.

The Panthers girls advanced to the Class 6A-Region 2 semifinals last night, a header by Amy Werdine in overtime from and Ellen Moore corner kick giving them a 1-0 victory against. Countryside.

The St. Petersburg Times' Eduardo A. Encina was at the game, with both Werdine and Plant coach Steve McGill expressing their relief at finally making it through.

The Panthers' opponent on Tuesday, Palm Harbor University, also needed overtime to get past Bloomingdale, Catherine Brinkman giving the Hurricanes victory. The Times' Bryan Burns writes that the Hurricanes thought they got their toughest test this season from the Bulls.

Not every game was as thrilling as the area's two 6A quarterfinals. Newsome, for example, trounced Ocala Forest 7-0 as Liz Haumschild had a pair of goals and three assists for the Wolves in Class 5A-Region 2. The Wolves will get a rematch with district rival East Bay in the semifinals, Delaney Poli scoring the only goal in a 1-0 victory against Springstead.

Freedom had as little trouble advancing into the Class 5A-Region 3 semifinals as they had winning the district title last Friday, The Times' Joey Knight writes, dispatching Manatee 5-0. The Patriots will now face Venice, who were held at bay for a half by Hillsborough goalkeeper Amber Davis before earning a 4-1 victory behind Kelly White's second half hat trick.

In the other half of that region, East Lake and Seminole will again face off after the Eagles defeated Largo 1-0 and the Warhawks routed Northeast 9-0.

Steinbrenner remained undefeated, but was made to work for its 4-2 win against Palmetto after the Tigers rallied back from a 3-0 deficit before CiCi Gonzalez put the game away with her 30th goal of the season, writes The Times' John C. Cotey. The Warriors will face another undefeated side in the region semifinals, as Lakewood Ranch blasted Robinson 9-1.

There were another pair of routs in Class 3A-Region 3 as Berkeley Prep needed just one half to defeat Frostproof 8-0, while Clearwater Central Catholic set up a district final rematch with a 9-1 win on the road at Lakeland McKeel.

Colby Maffei recorded another hat trick, giving her 44 goals for the season, as the Terrapins defeated Shorecrest Prep 3-0. The Terrapins will face Bradenton St. Stephen's in the semifinals after the Falcons defeated Indian Rocks Christian 5-1. St. Stephen's won 2-1 when the two sides met in the regular season.

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