Sometimes it only takes one goal.
And on Friday night, despite dominating all night long, that’s all the Lourdes girls’ soccer team got.
But one turned out to be enough as Our Lady of Lourdes, in a highly anticipated matchup between the two best teams in Miami-Dade County this season, edged Coral Reef 1-0 in a Region 4-5A semifinal before a large and noisy crowd at Tropical Park.
The Bobcats (23-1), whose only loss came in an early season matchup against St. Thomas Aquinas, advance to their third consecutive regional final and will look for their third straight trip to the state final four on Tuesday as they travel to Broward County to take on Cypress Bay in a rematch of last year’s regional final.
Lourdes dominated from the opening whistle to the final whistle never allowing the Barracudas (20-1-2) a single quality shot on the goal the entire night.
Meanwhile, Reef keeper Christina Velasquez was peppered relentlessly all night, finishing with 16 saves.
The only one she couldn’t save came in the game’s 25th minute when Lourdes forward Mia Atrio beat the Reef defense down the left side, cut back inside and knifed one into the top left corner.
“I saw the left line was wide open and when I saw their defender step toward me, I managed to make a good inside move which gave me a great look at the net and I put a good foot on it,” Atriot said. “It had been frustrating up to that point because we had had so many opportunities and just couldn’t find the back of the net and it was that way in the second half as well.”
Lourdes defenders Francesca De Zendegui, Karolina Cabrera and Alexa Sanchez took it from there clearing anything out that came their way which wasn’t that often as most of the game was played on the Lourdes side.
“We came in with a game plan defensively of how to press and I think that really helped our team defense which disrupted their play and that in turn helped create chances for us,” Lourdes coach Ramiro Vengoechea said. “I felt that their goalkeeper [Velasquez] was fantastic all night and really kept them in the game. Hats off to Coral Reef, they’re a great team, but I definitely felt we dominated the game and did a good job of locking things down on defense and not really giving them any kind of quality chances.”