Cypress Bay’s Andres Schmidt has carried his Lightning team with his prolific goal scoring, and came through once again after the team stumbled to a 4-0 first quarter deficit against Westminster Academy.
The sophomore answered the call, scoring 12 goals to lift visiting Cypress Bay to a 21-11 victory in Tuesday’s FHSAA Water Polo first round play-in match.
“Andres carried the team in the beginning of the season,” Cypress Bay coach Jakob Muller said. “Finally, the rest of the team caught up with him.”
The Lightning (10-2) will face the Oviedo-Winter Park winner in Friday’s Round of 16 at Ransom Everglades. Schmidt will enter the playoff match with a team-leading 60 goals for the season.
“For a sophomore, he has a lot of experience. He’s willing to do what’s asked of him, and he takes responsibility when things don’t go well.” Muller said.
It didn’t take long for the Lightning to slip up as Westminster’s standout Jason Woodburn (five goals) scored just 10 seconds into the game before building the Lions’ four-goal lead.
“The only thing I could think of is, ‘They’re just not ready yet,’ ” Muller said.
Arturo Freitas scored four goal and Gabriel Indraigo added three goals to lead the Lightning. Westminster ends its season at 11-12.
The girls’ game was tighter, with Westminster (19-5) prevailing 8-7 in their play-in match.
With 5:11 remaining in the game, freshman Naomi Sanders displaced a defender a foot in front of the goal and shoved the ball into the an empty net with the goalie out of position for the game-winner.
The Lions needed three big saves from goalie Emily Stevenson down the stretch to preserve the victory, the Lions’ second one-goal victory of the season over the Lightning (9-4). Westminster defeated Cypress Bay 6-5 two weeks ago.
Sanders and Koral LaStella each finished with three goals to lead the Lions, who will also head to Ransom Everglades in their round of 16 matchup against the Oviedo-Winter Park winner.