“We played with rhythm with our passing in the first half, but the second half was more chaotic,” Ramos said as his Lightning (17-2-4) continues its bid for a second consecutive state title, advancing to Friday’s state round of 16 playoff match against West Broward at Cypress Bay on Saturday.
Cypress Bay will attempt to defeat West Broward for a fourth time; the last meeting was a 1-0 victory in double overtime for the district title last week.
The Stingarees (14-6-3) were left without taking a shot on goal against Cypress Bay goalkeeper Hector Ferndandez in the first half. The Lightning, on the other hand, took nine shots, converting two against Miami goalkeeper Kevin Cabrera, who finished with 13 saves for the Stings.
Daniel Gutierrez opened the scoring in the third minute, lofting a bouncing pass from left winger Nicolas Gueravara near the left pole for the one-goal lead.
Cypress Bay added to its lead 15 minutes later when Juan Todeschini took a shot from 17 yards out that deflected off a Sting defender and bounced off the goalkeeper’s hand into goal.
• Region 4-4A quarterfinal — Hialeah American 1, South Broward 0: A penalty-kick goal in the 62nd minute by Diego Arcon was all the Patriots needed to defeat the Bulldogs and advance to the region semifinal Wednesday night at South Broward.
Each team came into the game without its starting goal keeper. American freshman Javier Mulero started for the Patriots and produced a shutout. The Bulldogs used their top goal scorer, Francisco Patalano, in goal. Late in the game, Patalano changed his uniform and came in to play attacker.
"The Patriots will face Fort Lauderdale in the region semifinal.
• Region 4-3A quarterfinal — American Heritage 5, Okeechobee 3: American Heritage received key contributions from Samuel Vinson and Donald Tomlinson, but three goals by Okeechobee’s Daniel Rodriguez kept the match close.
American Heritage (20-3-2) will host district rival Pembroke Pines Charter in the regional semifinal. Vinson and Tomlinson scored two goals apiece for the Patriots.
The Patriots held the advantage in possession for most of the match and had multiple scoring chances due to its patience and speed. Okeechobee finished 9-8-2.
American Heritage added two more goals to take a 3-0 lead late in the half.
Rodriguez scored his first goal in the 38th minute for Okeechobee, but the Patriots countered a minute later on a goal by Vinson.
• Region 4-4A quarterfinal — Ft. Lauderdale 3, Westland Hialeah 0: Still a relative newcomer to the regional playoffs, the Ft. Lauderdale boys soccer team traveled to Milander Stadium in Hialeah and turned in an impressive performance, knocking off Westland Hialeah to advance to Saturday’s regional semifinals against American.
Playing in only their second-ever regional game, the Flying L’s (17-6-1) scored twice in the first half to build a 2-0 halftime lead and coasted from there, marking their first-ever regional victory.
Ft. Lauderdale opened the scoring in the game’s eighth minute when Vladimyr Joseph, off a centering pass from Oscar Salsa that Westland keeper Kevin Gonzalez could not control and knocked in the loose ball.
In the 24th minute, Gonzalez was called for a foul inside the penalty box and Benson Orelien drilled the ensuing penalty kick into the bottom right corner of the net to make it 2-0. Joseph added his second goal of the night in the 57th minute to complete the scoring.
“A disappointing night but that doesn’t diminish what we did this year,” said Westland coach Greg Solano whose team finished 9-7-6. BILL DALEY
• Region 3-5A quarterfinal — St. Thomas Aquinas 2, Deerfield Beach 1: Max Smerilli scored on a crossing pass with eight seconds to play in the first overtime as St. Thomas Aquinas edged Deerfield Beach in a thrilling Region 3-5A quarterfinal at Deerfield.
After Matheus Ale scored in the second minute for St. Thomas (15-2-3) for a 1-0 lead and Morinvil Dawing scored for Deerfield Beach a minute later to tie it at 1, the game remained deadlocked with both teams having scoring chances that went for not.
As the clock ticked down in the first overtime, Deerfield Beach goalie Georges Cunha inexplicably came out of the goal for the ball rolling to down the sideline. Aquinas’ Christian Boorom beat him to the ball, crossed it as Smerilli finished it off.
Deerfield Beach’s season ended at 18-4-1.