When you win 25 of 26 postseason games and four state titles in a five-year span, losing a big game has usually never been an option for the Cypress Bay boys’ soccer team.
But a team that has won a truckload of huge and close playoff games during that period found out how the other half lives on Friday night.
With its Class 5A state semifinal against Winter Park locked in a scoreless battle and just seconds from overtime, the Wildcats stunned Cypress Bay when Noah Sinyangwe beat the Lightning defense on the right side creating a one-on-one with goalkeeper Javier Silva and lined one into the bottom left corner of the net.
The clock read only 20 seconds and right after they restarted play, the whistle sounded giving Winter Park, a team with just one state title (1979), a 1-0 victory. Winter Park will take on Boca Raton, a 3-2 (4-2 PKs) winner over Jacksonville Mandarin in the earlier semifinal, in the 5A state title game Saturday at noon.
Distraught Cypress Bay players, who were looking to bring their program it’s fifth state title in the last six years, needed to be picked up off the ground by their assistant coaches when the game was over.
Senior Adrian Corrente was about to be interviewed after the game, started to say something and simply walked away shaking his head.
“It’s tough. Any loss is tough but in a state semifinal with 20 seconds to go, that’s really rough but that’s soccer sometimes,” said Cypress Bay head coach Colin Ilgner. “We’ve won a lot of big games and had a lot of good times with this program over the years so sometimes it just doesn’t go your way and we’re feeling that tonight.”
The Lightning (19-1-2) enjoyed some quality chances in the first half but struggled to get any offensive rhythm in the second half.
Meanwhile, after not doing much offensively for most of the game, Winter Park began to create quality chances with 12 minutes left in the game as Silva was forced to make a couple of big saves.
Just when it looked like the game would go to OT, Winter Park midfielder Cutter Coleman knifed a perfect through ball down the right side that bounced off a Lightning defenders leg and Sinyangwe suddenly found himself alone down the right side.
Silva came out to meet him to force him to kick early but Sinyanwe’s shot was on the money.
“Sometime I struggle on corners, but I usually eat those one-on-ones up,” said Silva, wiping tears from his eyes. “The ball deflected off one of our guys’ legs and it left him onside. I tried to come out and force him to shoot early which he did but you have to give him credit, he made the shot when it counted.”
Cypress Bay also had to play without one if it’s best midfielders, Jacobo Vasquez, and didn’t know they were not going to have him until 24 hours earlier. That’s when word came down from the FHSAA in Gainesville that Vasquez, who was involved in an altercation with a Varela player in the regional final resulting in the Varela player’s red card ejection, found out he would be suspended himself when video of the incident was sent to the state for review.
“We had to shake up our starting lineup when we lost Jacobo; so we had to change up our formation and our guys just never got settled and just couldn’t find a replacement to fill that void,” said Ilgner. “It had an effect, and it was an unfortunate incident. It’s part of the game. You respect the decision and move on from it.”
Said senior captain Jake Fuhrman who closed his career with two championship medals, “We put so much time and energy into this and it’s always been a team effort, I love these guys like my brother and I’ve been proud to be a part of this program for the last four years.”
La Salle defender Florencia Baldassini, a two-time All-Dade first team selection, has signed with Stetson University in Deland.
The National Soccer Coaches Association of America and USA TODAY High School Sports released the newest 2015-16 winter high school national rankings.
Belen (25-0-2) is ranked eighth on the boys’ side, and Plantation-American Heritage (20-1) is fifth in the girls’ poll.
The winter rankings are announced biweekly from November through February. The next release date for the polls is Tuesday, Feb. 23.
For information about the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, visit
▪ Flanagan Falcon Challenge Championship: Westminster Christian 6, Douglas 5: Alvaro Valdez HR; Luis Aviles 2 for 3, RBI; WP Sam Fernandez (1-0); Save Nick Auerbacher save; LP Suarez. WC 3-0.
▪ Coral Reef 7, Jackson 1: Nick Carballo 2 for 3, 2RBI; Randy Joseph 3 for 4, 3RBI; WP Jake Sheeder (1-0). CR (2-0).
▪ iMater Academy 12, City Christian 1: Michael Bell 4 for 5, 2 2B, 2RBI; WP Harold Aguilera (1-0) 3H, 1R, 15K. iMater 2-1.
▪ University School 21, Marathon 2: Scott Gutstein 2 for 4, 2RBI; Kyle Oren 2 for 3, 4R; Cole Standifer 2 for 3, 2RBI. WP Scott Gutstein. LP Daniels. Univ 2-1.
▪ Hialeah 6, Westland 5: Johnathan Sanchez 3 for 3; Stephen Garcia 1B, 1R. WP Anselmo Suarez (1-0) CG, 1ER, 7K; LP Alex Ayala. Hial 2-1.
▪ Thursday: South Broward 1, Fort Lauderdale 0: SB: Yjordan Maldonado, 2H, Steven Fondeur 2H, Miguel Gonzales RBI. FTL: Jonathan Grant 2H. WP Yjordan Maldonado (1-0) 7 IP, 2H, 0R, 8K; LP Michael Reiskind (0-1) 6 IP, 4H, 1ER, 2K. SB 1-1, FTL 1-1.
▪ Thursday: SLAM 13, Mater Academy 2: Andres Santana 3 for 4, 3RBI, 3B; Jeter Downs 2 for 3, 3R, HR; Brian Frias 3B, RBI; Jose Garcia 2 for 2, R; Jose Garcia HR; WP Chauncey Nunez 3 IP, 4H, 2R, 4K; Cristobal Arenas 2 IP, 1H, 0R. SLAM 2-0.
▪ Thursday: Belen 11, Pines Charter 0: Mario Robaina 2 for 3, 2B, 2RBI; Christian DelCastillo 2 for 3, 2B, 2R, RBI; Alex Falla 2 for 3, 2B, 3R; WP Albert Maury 4 IP, 0H, 4K. Bel 2-0, PC 1-1.
▪ Thursday: Ransom Everglades 4, Marathon 3: Rick Suarez 1H 2RBI; Ryan Moralejo 4 IP 0H, 9K; WP Ilan Lindenfeld 3 IP, 4K. RE 2-0.
▪ Archbishop McCarthy 17, University School 0: Hailey Marin 2 for 4, 3B; WP Noelle Hartung (2-0) 3K.
▪ American 6, Coral Reef 5: Yanelys Fernandez 2 for 3, RBI, R; Karla Soza 2B, 2RBI; Keiana Williams 2B, R; WP Ashley Alfonso (2-2) 7 IP, 2ER, 4K; LP K. Boix.
▪ Thursday: Pace 10, Coral Gables 0: Cassidy Zeigler 3B; Kathleen Rios 2 1B, 3R; Tiffany Pou 2 1B, 3RBI; Nat Rod 2RBI; WP Sofia Dominguez 3IP, 10K.
▪ Thursday: South Dade 15, Homestead 0: Thea Ramirez 3 for 3, 2HR, 3RBI, 3R; Taby Rodrguez 1 H, 1RBI, 1R; Cassie Torrez 3B, 1R; WP Tatum Rodriguez (2-1) 9 Batters, 9K; LP M. Monzon. SD 3-1
▪ North Broward Prep d. Masters Academy 6-1: Gomez d. Mann 8-1; Shen d. McCoy 8-2; Stephen (MA) d. Jultak 8-6; Stadelhoffen d. Goodrich 8-4; Miguel d. Gibbs 8-0. Doubles: Jultak/Stadelhoffen d. Stephens/Goodrich 8-2; Gomez/Shen d. Mann/McCoy 8-6.
▪ Krop 4, Belen 3: No.1 Danny Martinez (B) 8-6; No.2 Fabrice Bissainthe (K) 8-3; No.5 Leeland Bien (K) 8-3. Krop 2-1.
▪ North Broward Prep d. Masters Academy 7-0: Babb d. Marant 8-0; Dubova d. Song 8-5; Bakratze d. Bell 8-0; Neira d. Saad 8-0; Patregnani d. Castro 8-2. Doubles: Babb/Dubova d. Marant/Song 8-1; Bakradze/Neira d. Bell/Saad 8-1.
▪ Krop 7, Lourdes 0: No.1 Naiya Oden 8-3; No.2 Camila Ordonez 8-0; No.3 Julie Shillinton 8-1. Krop 2-1.
Boys’ water polo
▪ Thursday: Miami Country Day d. Riviera Prep 19-2: Jonathan Abromowitz 5 goals, 6 assists, 5 steals; Juan Martin Caro 2G, 5A, 2S; Romeo Curcio 3G; Sam Smith 2G, 2S; Christian Claramonte 15 blocks, 5S, 1A.
SATURDAY’S SCHEDULE GIRLS’ BASKETBALL
Region 4-6A final: Norland at Northeast, 7
Region 4-4A final: Booker T. at Cardinal Gibbons, 7
Region 4-3A final: Miami Country Day at Palmer Trinity, 7
Region 3-3A final: Naples Community School at Westminster Academy, 7
Region 4-2A final: Miami Christian at Boca Raton-Grandview Prep, 7
State boys’ soccer finals
When: Through Saturday.
Where: Melbourne High School, 74 Bulldog Blvd., Melbourne.
Admission: $9 per session; Parking: $5 for cars, $50 for fan buses.
Friday’s results – Class 5A semifinals: Boca Raton 3, Jacksonville Mandarin 2 (4-2 PKs); Winter Park 1, Cypress Bay 0; Class 4A final: Belen vs. Naples Gulf Coast, inc.
Saturday’s game – Class 5A final: Boca Raton vs. Winter Park, Noon.