Lourdes’ on-field chemistry is a big reason it has become one of the more dominant girls’ soccer teams in the state this season.
Senior striker Bailey Plummer gave an example Saturday when she gave the Bobcats all the offense it would need in a 1-0 victory against rival Ferguson.
Plummer gave Lourdes its only score in the 11th minute when her foot found the ball in traffic in front of the Falcons goal and booted it past goalkeeper Patricia Pinckombe.
Plummer, who has a team-high 31 goals this season, said she barely saw the ball or her any of her teammates as they worked to get it to her between the Ferguson defenders.
“It was chaos in front of the goal,” Plummer said. “I didn’t even see the ball coming. I just heard a yell from one of my teammates and I stuck my foot out and got enough on it. A lot of times we know where we’re going to be on the field and that makes it easier to make big plays.”
That trust factor on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball has helped Lourdes out score its opponents 101-3 in 20 matches this season.
The Bobcats (18-2) shut out Ferguson for the fourth time, and advanced to the regional finals for the second consecutive season. Lourdes will host Weston Cypress Bay Tuesday night at Columbus at 7 p.m. Cypress Bay eliminated Lourdes in the regional finals last season.
Ferguson (17-5-1) made its second regional semifinal appearance.
and first since 2006.
“We had a rough match the last time we faced them for the district title so we knew we had to expect a rough match since this one meant everything,” Plummer said.
The Falcons had a chance to tie it early when Lourdes goalkeeper Jenny Herold was called for interference inside the box resulting in a penalty kick. But Jessica Suarez’s shot rose just above the crossbar preserving the Bobcats’ lead. For the rest of the match, the Lourdes’ defenders were strong.
The group anchored by sweeper Nicole Perez, Cristina Rodriguez Garcia, Lori Rodriguez and Carolina Perez disrupted several solid scoring chances by Ferguson throughout the match.
“Our defense is our life saver,” Plummer said. “It let’s us definitely play a lot more aggressive because if we give up a loose ball we know they can make up for it back there. The fact we’ve only allowed three goals all year is incredible.”
Herold picked up her 17th shutout, but was kept active through most of the match.
“A lot of times this year, Jenny can have a picnic back there,” Walden said. “Today, was different, Ferguson attacked us often and she had to work to keep us in front.”
• Region 4-2A semifinal — Gulliver 3, Ransom Everglades 0: Since the beginning of the season the Gulliver girls’ soccer team has felt some growing pains, but that hasn’t stopped the team from winning.
Eighth-grade midfielder Samantha Earle set the tempo in the semifinal match, scoring the first goal.
“The first goal of the game is always the most exciting,” Earle said. “It set the momentum.”
Gulliver (19-0-4) found its spot in front of the goal and scored more times than not.
Now Gulliver moves on to the regional final where it will face American Heritage-Delray.
Gulliver has been bumped out of the post-season by American Heritage-Delray the past two years. The Raiders will be headed to Delray next week for the final.