According to coach Richard Lopez, Ferguson’s girls’ soccer team has learned how to govern games this season.
That was evident Friday night as the Falcons dictated the tempo throughout most of their 2-1 GMAC championship clinching victory over Miami Springs at Milander Park.
Ferguson (16-2-1) secured its second GMAC title in the past three seasons.
“The girls have progressed in tremendous fashion,” Lopez said. “Our goal this season is state. Last year was disappointing even though we had a very strong season.
“There’s more of a sense of urgency and focus this season. Everything is starting to come together. We’ll see how we do next week [in the playoffs].”
Seniors Isa Jara and Jess Suarez each scored goals as the Falcons beat the Golden Hawks (18-2-1) 2-1 for the second time this season.
But Ferguson could have added at least two more in the first half with constant pressure on the Miami Springs goal. Jara fired a shot that drifted just wide left of the goal from close range. Moments later, Suarez booted the ball off the right goal post.
“We had possession 80-85 percent of the game,” Lopez said. “Our touches were a lot cleaner than in the semifinals. The one goal we gave up came from a mistake. We have to learn from that because good teams like [Miami Springs] will make you pay for those.”
The Golden Hawks capitalized for their lone goal on a tally by leading scorer Ale Salazar in the sixth minute. That score tied the game at one, just three minutes after Suarez chest-bumped the ball into the goal off a corner kick while battling for it in a crowd of players.
Jara, who also scored in Ferguson’s semifinal win Wednesday against MAST Academy, broke the stalemate in the 53rd minute when she hit a bouncing ball past Springs goalkeeper Brianna Gomez.
Archbishop McCarthy vs. St. Brendan (STB), 3:30
Park Vista vs. Monsignor Pace (PACE), 5:00
Gulliver Prep vs. Ransom Everglades (Ransom Everglades), 7:30
Norland vs. Miami High (MHS), 7:30
Columbus vs. Hialeah Gardens (Hialeah Gardens), 7:30
Miami Central vs. Carol City (CC), 7:30
Edison vs. Northwestern (NW), 7:30
Chaminade-Madonna vs. Hillel ( ), 8:00
Norland vs. Lourdes (COL), 4:00
St. Brendan vs. Key West (KW), 4:30
Gulliver Prep vs. Ransom Everglades (Ransom Everglades), 6:00