Archbishop McCarthy’s girls’ soccer team finally got the better of its district rival St. Thomas Aquinas when it mattered most.
After some success that included splitting two earlier meetings this season, the Mavericks ousted the 15-time state champion Raiders with a 2-1 victory in the regional semifinals last Friday.
Cassie Lawson and Adriana Duque scored first half goals both assisted by Riley Balser to lead McCarthy to their 22nd victory of the season. The defense was anchored by freshman Kimmy Cover. The Mavericks (22-1-2) will play at Riviera Beach Suncoast Tuesday night for the Region 4-4A championship.
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▪ Region 4-5A semifinal - Miami Beach 3, Varela 0: It was a year ago that Miami Beach traveled to Cypress Bay for a boys’ soccer regional final and a shot at a berth in the state final four for the first time since 1994.
The Hi-Tides were eight minutes away from that dream before Cypress Bay snatched it away with two late goals for a 2-1 win. Next week, they will get another chance that following Saturday night’s 3-0 shutout of Varela in a Region 4-5A semifinal at Traz Powell Stadium.
Beach’s Lucas Arellano was the hero on Saturday night as his two first half goals, one on a penalty kick, staked his team a 2-0 lead at the break. After the Vipers (15-3-4) applied major pressure early in the second half, the Hi-Tides (22-2-1) put it away when Julian Enriquez scored off an assist from Josie “Chino” Aguilar just after the water break.
“We knew Varela was a good team and that it was going to take a strong effort tonight,” said Beach head coach Edgar Botto. “A real nice effort by all of the kids and we’re looking forward to another opportunity against a great program like Cypress Bay.”
▪ Region 3-5A semifinal - Delray Atlantic 1, Monarch 1 (Atlantic advances 4-1 on PKs)
▪ Region 4-3A semifinal - American Heritage 3, Miami Jackson 2: Miles Walters, Anibal Morales-Rosario and Morris Senior each had a goal. Benji Grossi had two assists and Walters had one. Heritage (18-1-3) will travel to play Cape Coral Mariner on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the next round.
▪ Region 4-2A semifinal - La Salle 1, Gulliver 0: The Royal Lions (15-2-2) advanced to the regional finals for the second consecutive season.
▪ Region 4-2A semifinal - Delray American Heritage 1, NSU University School 1 (American Heritage advances 1-0 on PKs)
▪ Region 4-1A semifinal - Miami Country Day 2, Divine Savior 1: Dre Medici scored a goal on an assist from Pedro Levi in the first half. Diego Oropeza scored the winning goal with a little over seven minutes left in the match from an assist from Medici. Freshman goalkeeper Chris Capote made 15 saves and stopped a penalty kick in the first two minutes of the match. MCD is 17-4-3 and will play at Palmer Trinity at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday in the regional finals.
▪ Region 4-4A semifinal: South Broward 2, St. Thomas Aquinas 1: On the strength of two first half goals by Evans Rosa and Matthew Randall, South Broward held off a furious late rally by host Aquinas to pull off the upset win and advance to the regional finals for the first time in program history. Goalkeeper Carlos Aragon came up big late in the game with some big saves. The Bulldogs (15-4-0) will travel to West Palm Beach to take on Forest Hill in the regional final on Wedesday at 7 p.m.
▪ Region 4-1A semifinal - Palmer Trinity 2, SLAM 1
▪ Hialeah Gardens 76, Reagan 54 - HG (18-6): Suarez 31, Lopez 17, Whitfield 8, Borrell 7, Duncan 7, Galezo 6. RR (7-14): Marvil 24, Perez A. 8, Gomez 5, Rodriguez 5, Perez D. 4, Sanchez 2, Paz 2, Becerra 2, Peña 2. Rebounds: Duncan 7. Assists: Suarez 4. Steals: Duncan 6. Three-pointers: Suarez 3, Lopez 3.