Defending Class 5A champion Palm Harbor University continued its bid for a second straight state title, this time in Class 6A, with an impressive 2-0 victory against Plant.
But, as I wrote for the Tampa Tribune this morning, the Panthers were disappointed not to have played to the level that had for the rest of the season.
Don't take anything away from the Hurricanes performance, though. Forwards Catherine Brinkman and Kelly Phipps were a constant thorn in the Panthers' side, illustrating perfectly how a side can control a game when every member of the team from the front back is committed to defending strongly, Colleen Lynch and Anja Decker also doing an excellent job in midfield.
The Hurricanes will now travel to face Apopka, which advanced to the first region final with a 3-1 victory against Palm Bay.
Newsome will again get to face Lakeland George Jenkins for a place in the Class 5A final four after the Wolves defeated district rival East Bay 3-1. Tribune girls correspondent Jarrett Guthrie was at the game, and filed this story.
Jenkins, on the other hand, got a slightly tougher game than the last time they faced Winter Haven, advancing 4-1. Friday's meeting in Lakeland will be the fourth consecutive season the Wolves and Eagles will have met in the playoffs, Newsome winning the first meeting in 2007 before the Eagles took the last two meetings, including a 1-0 overtime victory last season.
Freedom wasn't able to join Newsome in the region final, a 5-1 defeat to a powerful Venice squad ending the Patriots season. Freedom coach Chris Hinkle was highly impressed with the Indians performance, according to the St. Petersburg Times' Joey Knight.
Venice will now host another bay area team, Seminole, which had Jordyn Turner to thank for its 2-1 victory against East Lake.
In Class 4A, Steinbrenner's undefeated season came to an end at the hands of Lakewood Ranch. The Times' Eduardo A. Encina saw the 2-1 Lakewood Ranch victory.
While the Warriors' remarkable run came to an end, Hudson's continued on with a 4-3 victory against River Ridge. Tribune correspondent Mike Camunas saw the Cobras rally back from a 3-1 deficit to advance to the first region final in school history.
The Cobras will now face Eustis in the region final hoping that the third time will be the charm. Eustis has eliminated Hudson from the players for the past two seasons.
Berkeley Prep advanced to face Fort Myers Bishop Verot in Class 3A, but the 4-1 final score didn't indicate how close most of the game was, according to The Times' Keith Niebuhr.
And finally, Tampa Prep advanced to the Class 2A-Region 3 final with a 3-1 victory against Bradenton St. Stephen's, fighting off some early game nerves before Isabel Dalence and Caroline Cheek found the net to send the Terrapins through to face West Palm Beach King's Academy on Friday.