Disgust and disbelief were just some of the emotions the Ferguson Falcons girls’ soccer team was feeling after the last play of regulation Wednesday was converted into a controversial tying goal by host Palmetto.
But frustration turned to determination two minutes later when the Falcons scored a goal to beat Palmetto 2-1 in sudden-death overtime.
The win advanced the Falcons (17-4-1) to the Region 4-5A semifinals Saturday against Lourdes, which beat Coral Reef 8-0 in another quarterfinal.
Wednesday’s game-winning goal was scored by Marcela Ramirez, who took a pass from Jessica Suarez and got her left foot on the ball. The shot arched softly over Palmetto goalie Marti Stein and a defender, ending the Panthers’ season at 14-4.
“I was going to shoot,” Suarez said of the winning play, “but I heard [Ramirez] yelling [for the ball]. I have so much faith in her. So I just passed her the ball.”
Minutes earlier, Palmetto got the equalizer when Sophia Paz took a through pass from Alexandra Perez Villareal and scored past Ferguson goalie Patricia Pinckombe.
The entire Ferguson sideline was yelling for an offsides violation — to no avail.
“It was 2 yards offsides,” Ferguson coach Richard Lopez said. “Our girls were emotional because that goal wasn’t earned. But you can’t take it back. We had to get any of the outside animosity off of them and just regroup.”
Palmetto opened the scoring on an 11th minute goal by Ana Jenkins, who curved in a well-placed corner kick to the upper 90 of the far post.
• Region 4-5A quarterfinal — Lourdes 8, Coral Reef 0: The Bobcats knew they were a contender in Miami-Dade County coming into the season.
The goal was to take a big step toward true state championship contention.
Lourdes appears to be on its way.
The Bobcats (17-2) imposed their will from the start at Columbus in a mercy-rule victory against the visiting Barracudas.
Bailey Plummer had a match-high four goals and Michelle Figarola had two.
Sofia Rosell scored on a penalty kick with 11:56 remaining in the second half to end the game on the eight-goal mercy rule. Rosell and Amanda Delgado each had two assists. Rebeca Alvarez had a goal and goalkeeper Jenny Herold recorded her 16th shutout.
Lourdes will play host to Ferguson, which it has defeated three times this season, on Saturday night at Columbus in the regional semifinals.
“We’ve been hitting our stride in the past few games,” Lourdes coach Ray Walden said. “This was a quality team we beat [Wednesday], but we were on [Wednesday].”
Lourdes’ most impressive performances have come recently including a 2-0 road win against defending Class 3A state runner-up Plantation American Heritage. The Bobcats have outscored their opponents this season 100-3.
The only goals surrendered came in its only defeats against nationally-ranked Douglas (1-0 loss) and Gulliver Prep (2-0).
“We’ve been confident from the beginning but to beat a quality program like Heritage was a big difference,” Walden said. “We had a close loss to Douglas that could have gone either way. Hopefully, we can continue to play well the way we have.”
ANDRE C. FERNANDEZ
• Region 4-5A quarterfinal — West Broward 4, Miami Beach 0: Despite winning their first district championship in seven years, the Miami Beach Hi-Tides knew they were in for a big challenge when they played host to heavily favored West Broward in a Region 4-5A quarterfinal at Beach High School.