South Dade soccer edges Coral Park

Ed Callahan said he didn’t have any expectations entering his first year as South Dade’s boys’ soccer coach.

At the heart of what has been one of the wildest postseasons in recent memory in Miami-Dade County, the Bucs are having their best season ever.

It continued Wednesday afternoon as South Dade secured its first regional playoff win by beating Coral Park 2-0 at Tropical Park in a Region 4-5A quarterfinal.

“This is amazing, absolutely amazing,” Callahan said. “We didn’t expect to do much at the start of the season, and here we are now. It doesn’t get any better.”

The Bucs (8-7-2) are in the regional playoffs for the first time since 1999 and will face Coral Gables on Saturday in the regional semifinals. The game will likely be played at Gables at 3 p.m. unless it is moved to Tropical Park.

South Dade and Coral Gables (7-5-5) were runners-up in their respective, districts continuing a string of upsets that began with the district playoffs last week when the No. 3 and 4 seeds advanced from districts 14, 15 and 16 — the districts with Dade teams in Class 5A. Westland Hialeah, the No. 4 seed in District 16-4A, also won that championship.

The Bucs began their turnaround with a string of victories in three must-win games to finish the regular season that helped them qualify for the district playoffs. South Dade then ousted GMAC champion Sunset behind Humberto Blanco’s three goals.

Blanco’s stellar postseason continued Tuesday as he scored the first of two goals in a two-minute span that helped seal the win over the Rams (11-6-4), another underdog team that won District 15 as the No. 4 seed.

South Dade has scored 18 goals in its past six matches — more than it had in its first 11 matches of the season. Callahan believes the output supersedes South Dade’s scoring all of last season as well.

“We made a switch in our formation that was meant to emphasize our defense,” Callahan said. “The irony is that we scored more goals the past three weeks than we have the past two years I believe.”

Blanco said there is a reason for the offensive spike that resulted from a more defensive strategy. South Dade’s defense posted a shutout behind goalkeeper Carlos Villegas.

“It’s all in the counterattacks,” Blanco said. “We put more pressure on teams now, and that resulted in a lot of counterattacks up the field and more scoring chances.”


Region 4-1A quarterfinal — Hillel 3, Palmer Trinity 2 (OT):

Even with only one senior on its roster, Hillel showed grizzled resolve to come away with a victory over visiting Palmer Trinity at North Miami Stadium.

Sophomore Salomon Serfati scored the game-winning goal in the fourth minute of the “sudden death” extra period.

The Hurricanes (16-1-1) will play Westminster Christian on Saturday in the Region 4-1A semifinals at a site to be determined.

The Hurricanes took a 2-1 lead into halftime, but saw it evaporate quickly as Palmer Trinity’s Alejandro Rodriguez-Santilli scored a goal in the 42nd minute.

Hurricanes coach Ben Magidson said the victory was the product of a lot of dedication from the players.

“Four years ago there was a lot of talent, but not a lot of structure. We changed some things around; really challenged the players and they responded,” Magidson said.



•  Monsignor Pace 91, Broward International 59 – Thomas 8, Justinien 10, Fisher 22, Waite 8, Logan 6, Wilson 2, Jean 5, Alvarez 16, Desgeieux 1, King 6. Rebounds: Ogugua 12. Assists: Justinien 7

•  Late Tuesday — Edison 72, Miami Springs 65 – EDI (15-6) : King 28, Dervil 25, Grimes 9, Thelon 7, Oristil 2, Cooper 1. MS (11-10): Troya 13, Olivares 13, Fisher 12, Mathews 8, Thomas 6, Reinvel 6, Damato 3, Metellus 2, Colas 2. Halftime: EDI 29-28. Three-pointers: King 6, Dervil, Thelon, Fisher 2, Olivares 3, Damato, Reinvel 2. Rebounds: Grimes 16. Assists: Labady 11. Steals: Labady 12. Blocks: Grimes 6

•  Late Tuesday — Westwood Christian 61, Dade Christian 27 – WC (21-4): Conceicao 18, Shoon 10, Joseph 13, Ramis 13, Gonzalez 10. Three-pointers: Gonzalez 3, Ramis, Joseph. Rebounds: Conceicao 17. Assists: Ramis 5, Gonzalez 5. Steals: Ramis 5. Blocks: Conceicao 5


•  District 14-8A semifinal — Miami Beach 66, Coral Gables 33 – MB (19-6): Reque 13, Morgan 10, Henry 29, Pardo 6, Hopkins 6, Adirika 2. CG: Lansberg 12, Ellison 8, Sam 6, Fuller 3, Salazar 4. Three-pointers: Reque 3. Rebounds: Morgan 13. Assists: Reque 14.

•  District 15-8A semifinal — South Miami 60, Braddock 45 – SM (21-3): K. Brown 12, Cummings 1,Puertas 10, Graham 14, Ayerdis 3, KD Brown 8, King 5, Evans 6. BRA: Benedit 7, Osceola 25, Martinez 8, Flores 5. Halftime: BRA 22-38. Three-pointers: Ayerdis 3, King, Graham 2. Rebounds: Puertas 6. Steals: Graham 4. Assists: Graham 4.

•  Late Tuesday — District 16-3A semifinal — Florida Christian 56, Marathon 28 - FC (19-7): Montaner 2, Nunez 2, Martinez 8, Donato 2, Fontella 3, Jimenez 13, Carp 2, L. Jim 2, Wright 8, Irvine 2, Renof 2, K. Jim 11. MAR: Hildago 3, Qualls 15, Nieda 3, Forest 4, Davis 3. Halftime: FC 25-10. Three-pointers: Forest, Davis. Rebounds: Jim 7. Assists: Jimenez 8. Steals: Jimenez 8

•  Late Tuesday — District 16-8A semifinal — Coral Reef 43, Varela 34 – CR (19-5): Hollin 18, Arabitg 15, A. Alespeiti 5, R. Alespeiti 5. VAR: Brown 16, Mcintyre 10, Estupinan 3, Verdes 3, Andino 2. Three-pointers: A. Alespeiti, R. Alespeiti, Arabitg. Rebounds: Arabitg 22. Steals: Arabitg 5

•  Late Tuesday — District 15-8A quarterfinal — Braddock 56 Coral Park 33 – BRA: Benedit 14, Gomez 5, Martinez 7, Bermudez 2, Flores 8, Rojas 4, Osceola 16. CP: Quijada 2, Morales 7, Torres 3, Fernandez 17, Somarriva 4. Halftime: BRA 25-14. Three-pointers: Morales, Benedit 2, Osceola 2. Rebounds: Osceola 11. Assists: Benedit 5. Steals: Osceola 8.

•  Late Tuesday — District 13-8A semifinal — American 52, Hialeah 27 – AME: S. Jones 16, D. Smith 15, J. David 5, Jo. Williams 1, P. Bradshae 13, Vargas 2. H: Prado 2, K. Ruff 2, Loubeau 2, A. Hall 9, Dormer 2, McCallum 6, Casanova 2, Charles 2. Halftime: AME 23-22. Three-pointers: Bradshae, Hall 2.



GMAC championship at Miami High: Carol City vs. South Miami, 7


District 13-8A final: American at Dr. Krop, 7

District 16-8A final at Southridge: Palmetto vs. Coral Reef, 7

District 16-6A final at Norland: 7

District 14-4A final at Monsignor Pace: 7

District 15-4A semifinals at Ransom: Carrollton-Doral winner vs. Ransom, 6; TERRA vs. La Salle, 7:30

District 16-4A semifinals at Gulliver: St. Brendan vs. Key West, 6; Tavernier Coral Shores vs. Gulliver, 7:30

District 15-3A semifinal: Dade Christian at Archbishop Curley, 5

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