Cypress Bay (16-2-3) moves on to Tuesday’s regional final where the Lighting will travel to Columbus High School to take on Miami Lourdes in a rematch of last year’s regional final.
Not only has Cypress Bay defeated West Broward four times in a row in the semifinal round, the Bobcats had a chance to end the game on their seventh and eight kicks and twice Stolzenberg dove and made the saves.
After Cypress Bay’s Elizabeth Martinez found the top right of the net to put her team up 6-5 on their ninth kick, West Broward’s Gabriella Moreira stepped up and drilled a low shot middle left, and Stolzenberg was right there to stop it, sending Lighting players sprinting toward her to celebrate and Bobcats to the ground in despair.
“It was nerve-wracking to say the least,” Stolzenberg said. “A lot of times penalty kicks are a 50-50 thing, and I was just fortunate to make those stops when my teammates needed it.”
• Region 4-3A semifinal – Plantation American Heritage 6, Jensen Beach 0: Martha Thomas scored three goals as host American Heritage blew past Jensen Beach.
The Patriots (23-2) will host the Merritt Island-Rockledge winner in the regional finals Tuesday night.
After a slow start, the Patriots blew the game open by turning a 1-0 lead into a 6-0 lead in 14 minutes of play.
“We break teams down. We get one, we get two, the other teams starts losing their mentality, and that’s just it, we keep scoring,” Thomas said.
Thomas opened the scoring in the 12th minute. A goal by Megan Menocal made it 2-0 in the 28th minute and Thomas scored from 25 yards out to make it 3-0 in the 30th minute. Thomas then contributed an assist on a goal by Melanie Monteagudo for a 4-0 lead in the 35th minute.
Thomas finished the hat trick off with a perfectly placed header on a beautiful free kick by Michaela Kopecki for a 5-0 lead in the 37th minute. Kopecki had three assists.
• Region 4-1A semifinal – South Florida HEAT 5, Boca Christian 0: A hat trick by Cassie Zero helped the South Florida HEAT (18-6-4) to a victory over Boca Christian (9-11-1) at Weston Regional Park.
“I couldn’t have done it without my team,” Zero said. “They just fed me the ball, and then I was kind of there. I kept seeing open space and taking it.”
Zero scored her first goal in the 11th minute of the game. A second goal was added minutes later by Kristi Isabelle. Shortly after, the HEAT’s lead was increased to 3-0 on a goal by Erin McNutt. In the 33rd minute, Zero scored her second goal. South Florida led 4-0 at halftime.
Late in second half, Zero scored her third goal of the game.
HEAT will visit Miami Country Day on Tuesday in the regional final.
• Region 4-2A semifinal – American Heritage-Delray 3, Chaminade 0: In a physical match, Chaminade-Madonna had chances to get on the scoreboard, but was unable to break the American Heritage-Delray defense and goalkeeper Courtney Tompkins as the visiting Stallions shut out the Lions.
“Against a team like [American Heritage], you are not going to have many opportunities,” Chaminade coach Pablo Gentile said. “When you do, you have to put them away.”
Despite the result, Chaminade (17-4-2) was more competitive in this match than in last year’s when the Stallions (22-0-1) won 6-0 in the same round of the playoffs. “I’m proud of the way the girls played,” Gentile said. “We held our own.”