Girls’ soccer | district semifinals

McCarthy, Heritage advance to final


Archbishop McCarthy and American Heritage each won to advance to the district final, where they will face off.

Special to The Miami Herald

Familiar foes Archbishop McCarthy and American Heritage will face off after cruising in the District 16-3A semifinals Wednesday.

The host Mavericks advanced to Friday night’s final with a 3-0 victory over Key West.

American Heritage, last year’s state runner-up after losing to Ponte Vedra on penalty kicks, faced little trouble in a 7-0 win over Pembroke Pines Charter.

McCarthy, which finished as the runner-up in the district last season, jumped ahead on a pair of first-half goals. Senior Kristina Robles’s kick from 40 yards out found the far corner in the 16th minute. Twenty-three minutes later, senior Michaela Garcia dribbled into the box and scored on her strike. Junior Alexa Rivera added a goal off a loose ball in the 68th minute.

Key West (13-10-2) failed to record a shot on goal, while McCarthy (18-5-2) collected 11 as well as 11 total corners. Junior Angela Martin recorded eight saves for the Conchs, who beat the Mavericks 4-3 when the teams met in the first game of the season.

“We got the shutout and controlled the whole game,” McCarthy coach Mike Sica said. “We’re certainly going to need to finish a few more of those if we want to go any further. I’m happy with our performance.”

When Heritage and Pines last played on Dec. 7, the Jaguars (18-4) lost 1-0. Pines Charter mustered just two shots on goal this time.

The Patriots (20-2) took a 2-0 lead by halftime on freshman Alexandra Soree’s rebound off a corner kick in the 14th minute. Three minutes later sophomore Melanie Monteagudo headed in a cross. Five more goals in the final 40 minutes gave Heritage 143 goals on the season and with just six against.

Junior Martha Thomas scored less than two minutes into the second half before Monteagudo added her second goal nine minutes later. Junior Michaela Kopecki intercepted a clearing pass and her deflected ball turned into a goal at the 56-minute mark.

“We played 1-2 touch soccer, we played our style and didn’t panic,” coach Cindy Marcial said. “We knew we had to score early, and the main thing is they didn’t bunker on us.”

On Dec. 12, the Patriots beat the Mavericks, 4-1. Last season, McCarthy failed to score a goal in three games against Heritage, including the regional semifinal.

“We’re just going to go out there like we played today and do it for our seniors because we want them to go home with a ring this year,” Monteagudo said.

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