Locked in a 1-1 tie with just over five minutes left in regulation, the Pembroke Pines Charter and Miami Springs girls soccer teams appeared headed for overtime in Tuesday night’s Region 4-4A semifinal contest at Traz Powell Stadium.
But a beautifully executed double-pass play by the Jaguars netted an Adriana Robles goal that gave Pines Charter a 2-1 victory and second consecutive berth in the regional final.
Emely Sosa rifled a perfect through pass to Ashlyn Correa who centered the ball perfectly for Robles who found herself in a one-on-one with Springs keeper Brianna Gomez and knocked it in the top right corner of the net for the game-winner.
Pines Charter (20-2-1), which made its first-ever trip to the state final four a year ago, will look for its second straight trip to Melbourne on Friday night when the Jaguars host Riviera Beach Suncoast at 7 p.m.
“I saw it develop and yelled ‘play, play, play’ and when Ashlyn fed me a perfect pass in front I was one-on-one with the keeper and knocked it top right,” said Robles. “I wasn’t around here last year when the team went to state (Robles transferred from Archbishop McCarthy) so it would be great to get one more win Friday and get back up there.”
Pines took a 1-0 lead midway through the first half when Springs (19-4-1) was called for a foul inside the box and Sawyer Hall knocked in the penalty kick
Springs tied the game back up just three minutes before haltime when Alyssa Deno got loose in the middle after a center pass from Sophia Gomez and knocked it past PC keeeper Patricia Yordan.
“Just a great game between two very evenly matched teams and Springs really played like they wanted it tonight,” said Pines Charter coach Carlos Velasquez. “We knew they would come out with something to prove after last year (Pines dominated MS 4-0 in the same round) but our girls just kept grinding. The beginning of the game was physical and my girls aren’t physical. They’re more of a finesse team and had trouble because they were getting pushed around and into a type of game they don’t understand. Once they settled down and got more into the flow of the game, they were okay.”
Despite the tough loss, Springs head coach William Drew was proud of the effort his girls turned in, especially after suffering such a lopsided loss last year.
“Couldn’t be prouder of my girls,” said Drew. “Just a great girls soccer game between two very evenly-matched teams. I was especially proud the way we battled back after falling behind on the penalty kick. I think Alyssa’s goal right before halftime really energized us and we really came out and kept playing well in the second half.”
So well, that just six minutes into the second half, it looked like the Hawks would take the lead when Anete Cea was right in front of the net with a loose ball. But Yordan barely managed to get a hand on the ball and it doinked off the crossbar back into play before a Pines Charter defender cleared it.”
“That would’ve been huge,” said Drew shaking his head. “If we pop one in there and grab the lead, we put everyone back and play some good defense and maybe we might’ve been the ones moving on. But that’s soccer sometimes.”