Lourdes senior striker and leading scorer Michelle Figarola wasn’t where she hoped to be Thursday night.
Instead of playing in the Bobcats’ regional quarterfinal match, Figarola was recovering in the hospital following surgery to repair her knee after tearing her meniscus in practice this week.
Her teammates kept her in mind, however, and picked up the slack in her absence.
“We talked to [Figarola], and we did this tonight for her,” Lourdes forward Olivia Perez said. “We came in confident and played very well.”
Led by Perez’s two goals, Lourdes cruised to a 4-1 win over Palmetto in a Region 4-5A quarterfinal played at Columbus High School.
The Bobcats (20-2-1) will play Ferguson in the regional semifinals Tuesday at a site to be determined.
“Winning for Michelle has been a big theme for our group,” Lourdes coach Ramiro Vengoechea said. “She was a focal point for our team and it’s a big loss, but our kids have rallied around her. It hurts because we know how much it means to her to not be able to be here.”
Figarola accounted for 25 goals and 10 assists this season before she got hurt.
Lourdes knew it needed to strike quickly to keep its offense flowing.
Perez did in the first minute Thursday night, putting one past Palmetto’s goalkeeper off an assist from Nikki Molina, who also scored a goal.
Perez’s second score — her 10th of the season — capped the Bobcats’ scoring in the second half. Taylor Cosio scored a goal, as well, and Natalie Silberman, Sofia Portuondo and Christine Hoynack each had an assist.
Palmetto’s Emily Llamas broke through and scored the Panthers’ lone goal with 10 minutes left in the match.
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Region 4-4A quarterfinal — Miami Springs 5, South Broward 0:
Junior Alyssa Deno was sure in a celebratory mood on Thursday night. The only thing missing when her teammates congratulated her after the game was a hat to wear.
That’s because Deno had just put the finishing touches on her Miami Springs team’s 5-0 victory over South Broward in a Region 4-4A quarterfinal at Traz Powell Stadium by scoring three goals, aka a “hat trick.”
Deno, who has battled a nagging ankle injury all season, scored once in the first half and twice more in the second half to lead the Hawks (19-3-2) past the Bulldogs for the third straight year in the same round.
The win cleared the way for a much-anticipated rematch with Pembroke Pines Charter in a regional semifinal next Tuesday at Traz in what will be a rematch of last year’s game which Pines dominated, winning 4-0.
Sophia De La Puente scored in the first half along with Deno to stake Springs to a 2-0 halftime lead before Deno knocked two more in midway through the second half. An own-goal by South Broward (88-2) with three minutes left completed the scoring.
“I don’t think I’ve gotten one of these (hat tricks) since probably a couple of years ago,” said Deno. “It felt great to score the goals but it was more a matter of all us playing well as a team tonight. We’re playing well right now and we need to be because Pines will be a big challenge for us next week.”
Region 4-3A quarterfinal—Archbishop McCarthy 4, Doral 1
Amanda Perez sliced swiftly, dicing dribbles through thin gaps in the defense before finishing with the outside of her foot, to give Archbishop McCarthy a 2-0 lead early in its 4-1 region 4-3A quarterfinal route Thursday at Doral.
Perez scored twice in the win, adding an 18-yard boot with eight minutes remaining in the game.
Olivia Reese scored first for the Mavericks (19-4-2). Alyssa Bello scored the Firebirds (9-6-3) only goal at the 15 minute mark. Taylor Shore increased the Mavericks 2-1 halftime lead when she scored with 24 minutes remaining.
McCarthy plays Tuesday at American Heritage in a region 4-3A semifinal.
Region 4-5A quarterfinal—Cypress Bay 6, West Broward 0:
Cypress Bay easily handled West Broward (14-5-2) in a 6-0 route in a Region 4-5A quarterfinal matchup at Everglades High on Thursday night.
Junior forward Mary Matamoros opened up the scoring for the Lightning in the 13th minute with a dribbler into the right corner of the net from the top of the box. Senior midfielder Yessenia Koontz put the Lightning up 2-0 in the 36th minute when she fired a loose ball eight yards out into the heart of the net.
Cypress Bay (20-1) scored two goals in the first 10 minutes of the second half to put the game out of reach. Matamoros knocked in her second goal of the night one minute after assisting on sophomore Cassidy Morgan’s easy tapper. Sophomore forward Lory Castillo and Koontz each added a goal in short succession 63 minutes into the game.
West Broward senior Sabrina Amador and junior Danielle Antieau gave it their all to upset the Lightning but were unable to get any shot past senior goalkeeper Melissa Aristizabal.
“The entire team, all 22 players, stepped up to play,” Cypress Bay coach Kate Dwyer said. “We did much better than I expected us to do.”
Cypress Bay will play St. Thomas Aquinas in the regional semifinals on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Cypress Bay handed St. Thomas its only loss of the season back in December but lost the district championship game against the Raiders last week.
Region 4-4A quarterfinal — Pembroke Pines Charter 8, TERRA 0
Courtney Zaher scored four goals as the Lady Jaguars advanced past the Wolves to the region 4-4A semifinal Thursday night at Pines Charter.
“We had so much communication out there, and our team was really pumped for the game,” Zaher said. “We have the potential to take it to state again this year.”
Three of Zaher's goals came in the first half, and she added the fourth goal late in the second half.
Adriana Robles scored two goals. Dana Meltzer and Samantha Toribio also had goals. Keeper Patricia Yorden had the shutout.
Pines Charter will face Miami Springs or South Broward in the regional semifinal next Tuesday.
Region 3A Quarterfinal — American Heritage 8, Key West 0
Melanie Monteagudo and Chyanne Dennis each scored three goals to lead an injury-plagued American Heritage squad past Key West 8-0 in the Regional 3A girls’ soccer quarterfinal match at Heritage Field in Plantation Thursday afternoon.
Monteagudo did all of her damage in the first half to stake the Lady Patriots (17-1-2) to an early lead. The junior left the game early in the second half.
With a 5-0 lead at the end of the first half, American Heritage coach Cindy Marcial pulled most of her starters. It was not a sign of mercy but was insurance that she would have a healthy roster for Tuesday's regional final.
“We had six starters out tonight, and I could not risk any more players getting hurt,” Marcial said. “I don't know if I can fill a roster right now. I probably can’t.”
Dennis scored the final three goals of the game in the second half. Her last goal came on a 35-yard blast that Lady Conch goalie Alana Estenoz had no chance to save.
Region 4-5A quarterfinal — St. Thomas Aquinas 8, Flanagan 0:
St. Thomas Aquinas needed only 53 minutes of play to defeat Flanagan 8-0 in a regional 5A quarterfinal at Brian Piccolo Stadium in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday night. The game ended early due to mercy rule provisions.
Freshman Chloe O’Neill scored three goals and had an assist to lead the Lady Raiders. Senior Dallas Dorosy scored twice to help bury the Falcons.
“I did not expect to even make the team this season,” O'Neill said. “To come out and help my team the way I did tonight is just beyond my wildest dreams.”
Raiders coach Carlos Giron liked what he saw out of his freshman sensation.
“She knows where to find the goals and she goes after every ball,” Giron said. “She is doing what she is supposed to be doing, and she never stops.”
Flanagan ended their season at 17-2-3. St. Thomas will play for the regional title on Tuesday.