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.
And, despite a terrific effort from their goalkeeper, the Bobcats proved too much for Beach and cruised, advancing to Saturday’s semifinals, where they will get a rematch with rival Cypress Bay.
“We knew it would be a challenge coming in and I thought our girls played pretty well [Wednesday],” Beach coach Andrea Monsalve said.
West Broward (15-3-1) scored in the 15th and 25th minute to take a 2-0 lead. Eve Pitney knocked in her second goal of the game with five minutes left, and Nicole Kinsey scored with just 30 seconds left to complete the scoring.
• Region 4-2A quarterfinal — Gulliver 3, LaSalle 0: The Raiders defeated district runner-up LaSalle to reach the regional semifinals.
LaSalle (14-2-3) went 14 games without a loss and had a promising season, but like many teams, injuries cost the team several key players.
LaSalle and Gulliver played to a scoreless tie earlier this season, but on Wednesday, it was all Gulliver.
Senior forward Madeleine Intriago scored two goals in the first half.
The game-sealing goal was scored by eighth grade midfielder Samantha Earle, with the assist coming from a header by Kai-Lin Hernandez.
The Raiders head into the regional semifinal, where they have the home-field advantage against Ransom.
COREY W. CAMPBELL
• Region 4-4A quarterfinal — Miami Springs 5, South Broward 1: After coming out a little sluggish and falling behind early, Miami Springs scored five unanswered goals to easily defeat South Broward at South Broward High School. With the win, Springs (16-5-4) will get another shot a Mater Academy in a rematch of last week’s district final (won by Mater 2-1) on Saturday night at Traz Powell Stadium in a regional semifinal.
The Golden Hawks were led by freshman Alyssa Deno, who scored two goals, followed by Ale Salazar, Annette Cea and Sophia De La Puente who had one each.
After South Broward’s Melanie Cea scored in the game’s fifth minute to take a 1-0 lead, Springs responded with goals from Annette Cea (no relation) in the 23rd minute and De La Puente three minutes before halftime to take a 2-1 lead at the break. Springs then blitzed the Bulldogs with three goals in the first 13 minutes of the second half (Deno scoring twice) to pull away. South Broward, coming off its second straight district championship after a three-win season two years ago, finished 17-6-0.
“It was a matter of our leaders stepping up and playing to their capabilities after we gave up that first goal to them,” Springs coach William Drew said. “The girls did a good job of not panicking and just playing their game. Now we’ve got another shot at Mater and we’re excited and looking forward to the opportunity.”
• Region 4-4A quarterfinal — Mater 8, McArthur 0: Karly Villar had three goals and an assist to lead Mater (24-2-1) in a blowout win against McArthur (11-10-1) in the Region 4-4A quarterfinals at Traz Powell Stadium.
The junior was a catalyst for a Lions team that will play Miami Springs in the regional semifinals on Saturday night. Eighth-grader Sydney Johnson added two goals and two assists.
“Karly is a very opportunistic player, she’s smart, she knows where to be and she executes,” Mater coach Luis Sanchez said.
Villar got the scoring started with a streaking goal through the middle of the Mustangs backfield in the 10th minute, taking the ball from midfield while ducking and dodging defenders.
“The thing with our team is that if we come in focused we can play with any team and beat any team,” Villar said. Her Lions split regular season matches against Miami Springs before defeating the Eagles for the district championship.
Twenty seconds into the second half and holding a commanding 5-0 lead, Villar scored her third and final goal on a similar play, this time on an assist from senior Alexis Hogan, who recorded a goal and two assists, all in the second half. Hogan’s goal in the 10th minute of the second half ended the game.
• Region 4-5A quarterfinal — Cypress bay 8, Ronald Reagan 0: With their next opponent watching in the stands, Weston Cypress Bay applied pressure early and often offensively on Doral Reagan, as the host Lightning defeated Reagan.
Cypress Bay will face district rival West Broward, which defeated Miami Beach earlier Wednesday, in the regional semifinals.
Maria Munoz led the Lightning with three goals. Jacky Huchler added a goal and five assist for Cypress Bay.
“We are peaking at the right time,” Lightning coach Kate Dwyer said. “Their focus is completely on soccer.”
Cypress Bay (15-2-3) held possession of the ball for the majority of the match. Munoz scored the games’ first goal as she split two Bison defenders and hit the far left corner of the net past the diving goaltender in the eighth minute.
Cypress Bay added five more goals in the first half to take a 6-0 at the break.
Reagan (16-4-1) struggled most of the match to maintain possession as the Bison turned the ball over numerous times in their own defensive end.
The Lightning will face West Broward for the second consecutive year in the state playoffs.
• Region 4-1A quarterfinal — Miami Country Day 2, Westminster Christian 0: Seventh-grader Yakira Mattison scored the first goal late in the first half on an assist by Avery Watson, who also scored later in the game. Goalkeeper Laurel Ivory got the shutout and more than 10 saves. Country Day advances to the regional semifinal to play Marathon on Saturday.