GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER

Buchholz downs Eastside


Published: Wednesday, January 21, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 21, 2004 at 12:22 a.m.
It was a classic tale of two halves at Citizens' Field Tuesday, as the Buchholz girls soccer team scored four second-half goals to outdistance Eastside 5-1, and claim the unofficial Gainesville city championship.
The Bobcats (16-5-4) got four goals from sophomore forward Nikki Collins, and finished their fourth consecutive season without a loss to another area team.
"Being undefeated in the area for that long is a pretty good accomplishment, and not too many teams can say that," Buchholz coach Ron Messick said. "This ends our regular season on a positive note, and now we have to get ready for the postseason."
This year Buchholz also rolled past Oak Hall (9-2 and 2-0, District 6-2A), P.K. Yonge (5-2) and Gainesville (3-0).
After a solid defensive effort in a very physical first half, Buchholz caught the Rams were caught sleeping on a penalty kick that rebounded off the goal post, allowing Collins to knock it in for the game's first score.
Eastside, 12-3-2 and seventh in Class 4A, was the Bobcats' 14th ranked opponent of the year, but fell short without the depth of a 6A powerhouse like Buchholz, which has sent six players on to college programs in the past two seasons, including current senior Marie Hastings and junior Alison Riley, who have committed to LSU and Columbus State University (Ga.), respectively.
"It's plays like that that turn things around, and it really knocked the wind out of us," said Eastside coach Matt Walker, whose squad will face P.K. Yonge (No. 4 in 2A) in Friday's regular-season finale. "We put together a good 40-50 minutes, but we wanted to be strong for all 80 minutes. Against a team like that, you want to step up your play, and we just didn't do that."
Matt Cannizzaro can be reached at (352) 374-5052or sunpreps@hotmail.com.

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