It was a remarkable afternoon for Hillsborough County schools at the FHSAA Girls State Soccer Finals as both Tampa Prep and Berkeley Prep advanced to their respective state finals win convincing victories on Thursday.
The Terrapins got a pair of goals in the first 10 minutes, and were able to control the most of the game against Tallahassee Maclay in a 3-1 victory as they exuded confidence on the ball. They were also able to do an excellent job Reanna Leoni in check, Amber Miller and Isabel Dalence in particular doing an excellent job.
The Terrapins will need to put in a similar performance against Delray Beach American Heritage on Friday night if they are to claim the title, but with a big contingent of fans behind them, as there were on Thursday lunchtime, the Terrapins could win their second state title in three years.
Berkeley Prep May have been even more dominant, making Pensacola Catholic chase the ball all afternoon in a 1-0 victory on Samantha Newhaller’s early goal. The Buccaneers girls have never advanced to a state title game before in the program’s history, and with Ken Roberts now in his 30th season as the team’s head coach, it would be nice to see him claim a state championship against Plantation American Heritage on Saturday morning.
On Thursday, they were at close to their best, the passing and movement off the ball being excellent. Against the Patriots, that will likely pay dividends as American Heritage, 3-0 winners against Melbourne Central Catholic in the other semifinal, will likely not play the same defensive style that the Bucs found difficult to break down after their opening goal.
Friday’s action sees the attention switch to Pinellas County to begin, as Seminole face Lynn Haven Mosley at 12:45 p.m. in the 5A semifinals, with Palm Harbor taking on Miami Lourdes at 5;15 p.m.
The St. Petersburg Times' John C. Cotey writes that the Warhawks believe this is their year. Palm Harbor, on the other hand, has used a stingy defense that has given up only four goals in 22 games this season to reach this point.