The Palmer Trinity girls’ soccer team has put its faith in goal scorer Sarah Medina, and that was made obvious by the white T-shirts they wore Tuesday on the bus ride to Melbourne.
The shirts, with blue and gold lettering, carried the message: “Run, Forest, Run.”
In this case, “Forest” was not some goofy film character but rather a skilled soccer star, Medina, who earned her nickname when she signed with Wake Forest earlier this season.
Medina, a senior who has 46 goals and 24 assists, will lead Palmer (14-4) Wednesday at 10 a.m. in a Class 1A state semifinal against St. Johns Country Day (22-0-3).
St. Johns has won five state titles since 2005, including the past two years in a row. In 2012, St. Johns routed Palmer 7-1 in the 1A state final.
Medina was on that Palmer team, scoring a school-record 52 goals as a sophomore. She transferred to Orlando’s First Academy for her junior season before returning to Palmer.
“I remember how disappointed I was after that (7-1) loss,” said Medina. “I wanted another chance at them, but I didn’t think I’d ever get it (after transferring). Now we get another chance. We’re pumped.”
Without Medina last season, Palmer went 5-6-2.
New coach Phil Gentles came in this season, and Palmer started slowly at 4-3. But Palmer has gone 10-1 since.
The only loss was a controversial district final at Marathon. Palmer led 3-2 and was expecting two or three minutes of stoppage time added on at the end. Instead, it got seven, and Marathon scored a tying goal in the final seconds and then won it in overtime.
Because of the loss, Palmer had to play all three of its regional games on the road. Palmer survived the challenge, however, beating Miami Country Day 3-2 in overtime in the quarterfinal, avenging the district final with a 3-1 win over Marathon in the semifinal and routing Westminster Academy 3-0 in the final. Medina totaled six goals in the three games, including the game-winner in overtime against MCD and a hat trick versus Westminster.
The Westminster game provided a defensive highlight for Palmer as junior Kelly Eriksen picked up the shutout. She had never played soccer before this season, and was thrust into her current role as a goalie at midseason due to an injury to the starter.
BOYS’ BASKETBALLDistrict 15-3A Quarterfinal: Miami Country Day 60, Doctor’s Charter 21: MCDS (20-6): District 16-2A Quarterfinal: Princeton Christian 55, Redland Christian 48: PCS (9-10):
BASEBALLSouthwest 7, Miami High 1:
SOFTBALLSouth Dade 16, Sunset 0:
BOYS’ TENNISMiami Beach 6, Columbus 1: TERRA 6, Miami Springs 1:
GIRLS’ TENNISTERRA 7, Miami Springs 0: