“Where we going? DeLand!! Where we going? DeLand!!”
Those were the shouts coming from a bunch of happy Lourdes soccer plays on Friday night. That following a dramatic 2-1 overtime win over Boca Raton in a Class 5A state semifinal at Boca Raton High School.
The game-winner came eight minutes into the first overtime when a Mia Atrio throw-in to Taylor Cosio and ensuing Cosio pass to Niki Molina found the back of the net when Boca Raton keeper Lara Larco overcommitted sending the Lourdes bench into a wild celebration at midfield.
The win means Lourdes will play for the state title for the third time in program history and against the same team, Oviedo, that it lost to in the finals the two previous times including a penalty kick heartbreaker five years ago. The game is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 23 at 1 p.m. at Spec Martin Stadium at 1 p.m. in – you guessed it – DeLand.
“I don’t know, it just happened so fast,” said Molina of the winning goal as she was being mobbed by teammates. It was a throw-in, Taylor gave me a great feed and when I saw the keeper overcommit, I couldn’t believe it. There was the net and I just kicked it. What an unbelievable feeling to come up here and beat this team on their field with so much on the line.”
For Lourdes, the win avenged a 3-0 state semifinal loss to the same Boca team it hosted a year ago. Now they must try and take on an Oviedo team that is not only undefeated and untied, but has yet to give up a single goal all season.
“What an effort by these girls to come up here and do this tonight, especially after such a rough start,” said Lourdes head coach Ramiro Vengoechoa. “Niki came through for us again. She’s one of our captains, one of our leaders who has stepped up in big moments all year and she did it again tonight.”
The rough start Vengoechoa referred to came in the first 90 seconds when Boca (18-3-1) stunned Lourdes right out of the box when forward Dayana Martin showed why she’s headed to UCF on a full-ride commit when she knifed her way right through the middle of the Lourdes defense and literally outran the defenders creating a one-on-one with Lourdes keeper Amanda Puig and knocked it in the top right.
Vengoechoa then watched as his team answered the Martin goal just 14 minutes later when Katerina Molina slipped the middle of the Boca Raton defense and found Atrio down the left side. Atrio found herself one on one with Larco and easily beat her to score and tie the game with 24:15 left in the first.
It was an emotional moment before the game when Boca Raton High School paid proper tribute to the 17 fallen victims of the senseless shooting rampage at Douglas High School on Wednesday as the flag hung at half mast and the PA announcer ready off each of the 17 names during a moment of silence.
▪ Class 1A state semifinal - Miami Country Day 0, Lakeland Christian 0 (MCD wins 5-3 on PK): After 100 minutes of scoreless soccer and ensuing penalty kicks, as it usually does, it came down to the goalkeepers and it was Miami Country Day’s Sophia Beneson who came up huge on Friday night.
Beneson made a diving save of the third penalty kick and Becky Bibas followed by nailing her shot to give Miami Country Day a 5-3 PK victory over host Lakeland Christian.
And with that, the Spartans (23-2) punched themselves a ticket into the state championship game for the first time in program history.
But the task will be a big one as they will have to deal with Orange Park St. John’s Country Day at Spec Martin Stadium in DeLand on Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. St. John’s has won six consecutive state titles and will be looking to tie the state record of seven straight, set by St. Thomas Aquinas from 1993-99.
“Hey, maybe it’s time for a new Country Day to take over as a state champion,” said jubilant MCD coach Kyllene Carter, now in her 11th year heading the program. “This is just fantastic. These girls have worked so hard for this moment and now we’re exciting to be going up to DeLand and give ourselves a chance to bring home a championship.”
▪ Class 4A state semifinal - Estero 5, Archbishop McCarthy 4: With a 4-1 lead early in the second half, the Archbishop McCarthy Mavericks were practically already halfway to DeLand. But then the bottom fell out as host Estero put on a furious rally, scoring four unanswered goals over the final 35 minutes to stun the Mavericks.
Emily Welch, Adriana Duque, Cassie Lawson and Jaden Roberts each scored single goals as McCarthy (23-2-2) had things on cruise control before everything went south.
“It hurts right now but it was still a great season and I’m proud of what the girls accomplished, “ said coach Mike Sica. “A firstever regional championship and state semifinal appearance.”
▪ Class 3A state semifinal - Merritt Island 2, American Heritage 1: After winning three straight games on the road in the regional playoffs, the Plantation American Heritage Patriots ran out of the road magic on Friday night.
Heritage, which battled injuries all season long, losing four starters and failed to win its district for the first time in 18 years, fell behind 1-0 when MI scored just 25 seconds before the half.
But a Megan Morgan goal off an assist from Tori Alfero tied the game midway through the second half. But a Mustang goal six minutes later proved to be the game-winner.
▪ Region 4-9A quarterfinal: Miami High 42, Everglades 20: MHS: Rodriguez 12, Rachel 11, Scott 8, Bucknor 5, Ward 4, Gomez 2. EV: Young 12, Brown 6, Maturah 2. Steals: Rachel 6. Rebounds: Bucknor 8, Rachel 8. Three pointers: Rodriguez 2, Young 2
▪ Region 4-8A quarterfinal: Mater Academy 41, South Broward 35. MA (17-11): Llanos 13, Dalmau 9, Alexander 9, Alicandu 4, Ramirez 4, Evins 2. SB: March 11, Simpson 9, Jones 8. Half: MA 21-19. Assists: Llanos 5. Steals: Ramirez 4. Rebounds Dalmau 8. Three pointers: Alexander, Llanos.
▪ Region 4-9A quarterfinal: Ferguson 87, Killian 27: FER (25-4): Pineda 20, Y. Rodriguez 11, A. Rodriguez 11, Cruz 10, Laureano 8, Gonzalez 6, Hunter 6, Charlton 6, Daniels 4, Ricardo 3, Terry 2. KIL: Grant 13, Johnson 3, Bell 3, Washington 3, Cannon 2, Schafer 2, Kendricks 1. Half: FER 64-15. Three-pointers: Pineda 2, Cruz 2, Ricardo, Y. Rodriguez. Assists: Pineda 7, Cruz 7. Rebounds: Daniels 7, Pineda 7. Steals: Laureano 8. Blocks: Laureano 3
▪ Region 4-5A quarterfinal: Gulliver 69, Westminster Christian 30: GUL (21-5): Pinder 24, Haymore 20, Sanders 15, Kaplan 8, Joseph 2. Half: GUP 42-12.
▪ Region 4-4A semifinal: Miami Country Day 69, Westminster Academy 31: MCD (16-10): Love 11, Berry 9, Alvarez 8, Taylor 8, Shaw 8, E. Theodule 8, Kaiser 6, J. Theodule 3, Gordon 2, Doctor 2, Sheppard 2, McCormack 2. WA: Mergilles 15, Wallhoff 7, Erikson 5, Atkinson 3, Simone-Davis 1. Half: MCD 44-16. Three-pointers: Alvarez 2, Taylor 2, E. Theodule 2, Kaiser 2, Wallhoff, Mergilles. Rebounds: Love 8. Assists: Alvarez 5. Steals: Love 5. Blocks: Love 1.
▪ Region 4-4A semifinal: SLAM 58, Palmer Trinity 27: Marta Franco 18 points; Jacqueline Garcia 10 points; Stephanie Perez 8 points.
▪ Killian 4, Sunset 3, 8 innings: walk-off RBI single for Matt Ojeda. WP: Richard Guzman.
▪ Palmetto 17, South Dade: 2: WP: Brittney Barczak (2-0) Top performers: Lauren Margolis 2-2, 2 doubles, 2 runs, 7 RBI. Tatum Rodriguez 2-2, 3 runs, 4 RBI. Katie Burge 2-3, 3 runs, 2 RBI. PAL: 2-0.
▪ Doral Academy 13, South Miami 5: Figueroa 3-4, 3 RBI, N Pitelli 2-2, 2B RBI, Leiva 2-3, 2B RBI, D. Pitelli 2-2, R, 2 RBI.
▪ Westminster Christian 15, Carrollton 0: WP - Brooklyn Maguire (1-0) LP - Florez. Top performers: Victoria Perez, 3-3, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, Hailey Donovan 3-3, 2B, 3B, 4 RBI, Daniella Amador 2-3, 3B, 2 RBI. WC: (2-0)
▪ Florida Christian 15, Somerset 0: Lilly Frometa 2B 3 RBI, Sammy Zelenka 3-for-3 2 RBI. WP: Hanna Mira.
▪ Ransom Everglades 11, Everglades Prep 1: WP Gaby Jadotte 11Ks, Gaby Jadotte 3-for-3 3 RBI. Abby Sekoff 2-for-2, 2 RBI. Tiffany McBrayer 3-for-3, RBI. RE: 1-0.
▪ Monarch: 11, Pompano Beach 1: WP Cameron Engwiller, 6 Ks, 2-for-3 at plate. Adryanna English 3-for-3, HR, 3 RBI, Brooke Tobey 2-for-3, 3 RBI, McKenna McNulty 2-for-3, Madison Bromley 2-for-4, RBI.
▪ Terra 6, Ferguson 1: Arellano 1-3, 2 SB, 1 run; Vazquez 1-4, 1 run; Berger 1-4, 3 SB, 1 run; WP: V Sanchez 7 IP, 17 K, 1 hit. T 2-0.
▪ Palmetto d. Belen 5-2: No. 2 Giovanni Dellungo, No. 3 Kevin Li, No. 4 Cole Gibson all won singles. Daniel Martens/Dylan Blake won No. 1 dbles. Charlie Grande (BEL) won No. 1 singles.
▪ TERRA d. Varela 6-1: Nicolas Porcelli (#1), Jonathan Gomez (#2), Franz Bagayas (#3), Joseph Glidden (#4) all won singles. Lance Grainger/Lucca Castillo won No. 2 dbles.
▪ LaSalle d. MAST 5-2: Diego Amiliba (#2), Jose Lopez De Ayala (#3), Yvan Martinez (#4), Mattias Felder (#5) all won singles. Pablo De La Fuente/Andres Marquez won No. 2 dbles. Eugenio Alvarez (MAST) won No. 1 singles.
▪ Miami Beach d. Doral Academy 6-1: Taylor Streda, Mark Dancourt, Piercarlo Usai, Yosue Noa, Adrian Barone won No. 1 thru No. 5 singles, respectively. MB: 1-0.
▪ Carrollton d. Miami Country Day 6-1: Isabella Leano (#1), Anais Leichtling (#3) and Alessandra Diamond (#4) won singles matches. CAR: 1-0.
▪ TERRA d. South Miami 7-0: Genie Hernandez (#1), Nicole Cinquino (#2), Kayleigh Lefley (#3), Amalia Almeyda-Sanchez (#4) and Mariah Fajardo (#5) all won singles matches. LefleyAlmeyda-Sanchez won No. 1 dbls, Sophia Monzón/Patricia Pascual won No. 2 dbls.