Sometimes the alarm goes off just a few minutes late.
After coming out a little sluggish and falling behind early, the Miami Springs Golden Hawks girls soccer team woke up quickly on Wednesday night (Jan. 23) scoring five unanswered goals to easily defeat South Broward 5-1 in a Region 4-4A quarterfinal contest at South Broward High School in Hollywood.
With the win, the Lady Hawks (16-5-4) will get another much-coveted shot at Mater Academy in a rematch of last week’s district final (won by Mater 2-1) this Friday night (Jan. 25) at Traz Powell Stadium in a regional semifinal. Mater routed Hollywood McArthur 8-0 Wednesday night in their quarterfinal contest.
Springs was led by freshman Alyssa Deno who scored a pair of goals, followed by Ale Salazar, Annette Cea and Sophia De La Puente who had one each.
After South Broward’s Melanie Cea stunned Springs by scoring 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 to pull away.
Deno scored the first of her two goals just two minutes into the second half when she tracked down a loose ball in front of the net and knocked it past South Broward keeper Olga Davis. Eight minutes later Maria Salas centered a perfect pass to Salazar in the center of the field who knocked it home to make it 4-1.
Three minutes after that, Deno nailed her second goal to complete the scoring. Throw in the fact that the Lady Hawks peppered Davis in front of the goal the entire second half including one shot off the post and two off the crossbar and no telling what the final score could’ve actually been.
“It was a matter of our leaders stepping up and playing to their capabilities after we gave up that first goal to them,” said Springs coach William Drew. “The girls did a good job of not panicking and just playing their game. Now we’ve got another shot at Mater on Saturday and we’re excited and looking forward to the opportunity.”
“It felt great to be able to contribute with two goals but I actually felt I left a few out there,” said Deno. “We’re just glad to be moving on and looking forward to our next challenge with Mater.”
“It was just a matter of staying calm and keeping things positive,” said Salazar when asked about the team’s reaction to giving up the early goal. “Once we knocked one in and got the game tied, I knew we would be okay.”
Should Springs emerge victorious over Mater, the Lady Hawks will find themselves right where they were a year ago – in the regional final and a shot at the state final four.
That game is scheduled for next Tuesday, Jan. 29 and, if they win, Springs could be looking at a possible rematch with Melbourne High School who they hosted last year and dropped a 1-0 heartbreaker although this time the game would be played three hours north in Melbourne.