The Sunset boys’ soccer team defeated North Miami 2-0 in the quarterfinals of the GMAC on Monday afternoon.
It was a victory the Knights had experienced before as they beat the Pioneers last year in the GMAC semifinals.
“It was a good spirited game. North Miami played tough all the way to the end. They had a couple of chances on our goal that our goalkeeper was successful in saving,” Knights coach Jay Flipse said.
The Knights will play Columbus (12-0-4) in the GMAC semifinals on Tuesday night.
Seniors Fernando Fernandez and Eddy Pineiro each scored a goal for the Knights. Both seniors made first team All-Dade last season and are hoping to repeat as GMAC champions this season.
Sunset has had two national championships, in 2004 and 2005, and the seniors use that as motivation in hopes of leaving a similar legacy.
“They walk into the gym and see the two huge pictures, and they are constantly reminded of these victories. They try to measure up to these teams,” Flipse said.
Junior David Villegas had his 10th shutout of the season and also aspires to win a national championship.
“His older brother also played as a goalkeeper for both 2004 and 2005 teams. So David looks up to him as motivation,” Flipse said.
Although the Knights won the GMAC championship last year, they want to remain focused more on the playoffs.
“There are so many good teams in our district it would not be a surprise for us if we get beat at this time. Or if anyone won the championship this year,” Flipse said. “We lost in the district semifinals last year so we are going to measure our intensity quite well and develop a rhythm.”
This season the team has improved in bonding, which serves as a great asset on and off the field, as seven of the team’s players have been together for four consecutive years.
Despite Sunset’s recent victories and improvement, it faces tough challenges in the upcoming playoffs.
“I call it the district of death because everyone beats up on everybody,” Flipse said.
He lists Varela, South Dade and Coral Reef as the team’s biggest challenges. The Knights lost to South Dade 3-2 in overtime in last year’s district semifinals.
“I see a big difference in this team from last year, and like I always say, it’s not about one person, its about all of us,” Flipse said.
Redland Christian at Colonial Christian, 3:30
Pace vs. Hialeah Educational, 3:30
Calusa Prep vs. Miami Christian, 6:30
Marathon vs. Greater Miami Academy, 7:00
Sagemont vs. Miami Country Day, 7:00
Pinecrest Prep vs. Archemedian, 7:00
Broward Charter vs. Monsignor Pace, 7:00
Northwest Christian vs. Sheridan Hills, 7:30
Coral Park vs. Killian, 7:30
Sunset vs. Southridge, 7:30
Booker T. Washington vs. Ransom Everglades, 7:30
Florida Christian vs. Gulliver Prep, 7:30
Doctors Charter vs. Hillel, 8:15
Goleman vs. Miami Beach, 3:30
Chaminade-Madonna vs. Gulliver Prep, 3:30
St. Brendan vs. Archbishop Carroll, 3:30
Coral Shores vs. Keys Gate, 3:30
Doral Academy vs. Belen Jesuit, 4:00
Ransom Everglades vs. Palmer Trinity, 4:00
Divine Savior vs. Archemedian, 4:00
Somerset Academy vs. Pinecrest Prep, 4:00
Marathon vs. Greater Miami Academy, 4:00
Booker T. Washington vs. LaSalle, 4:00
TERRA vs. Jackson, 5:00
Miami Beach vs. Coral Reef, 5:00
Miami Christian vs. Calusa Prep, 5:00
American vs. Hialeah-Miami Lakes, 5:00
Ferguson vs. Coral Gables, 5:00
North Miami Beach vs. Ronald Reagan, 5:00
Southridge vs. North Miami, 5:00
Sagemont vs. Miami Country Day, 5:30
Northwest Christian vs. Sheridan Hills, 6:00
Hialeah vs. Palmer Trinity, 7:00
Lourdes vs. Southwest, 7:30
Westland Hialeah vs. Miami Central, 7:30
Gulliver Prep vs. South Miami, 7:30
Mater Academy vs. Northwestern, 7:30
Miami Springs vs. Carol City, 7:30
Braddock vs. Coral Park, 7:30
Doral Academy vs. Homestead, 7:30
Pinecrest Prep at Somerset Academy, 4:00