P.K. Yonge rolls Eastside

Published: Saturday, January 24, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 23, 2004 at 11:36 p.m.
With the high school girls district soccer tournaments scheduled to begin Monday, Friday's neighborhood matchup between Eastside and P.K. Yonge was a final tune-up for two teams before heading off to battle within their respective classifications.
Eastside, ranked seventh in Class 4A, has always ruled the rivalry, but the power finally shifted Friday, as three second-half goals helped the Blue Wave roll to the 4-2 victory.
"Our district tournament may start next week, but I told the team this was like a playoff game for me, and that's the level of intensity I wanted to see," P.K. Yonge coach Kevin Fabulich said. "You're not going to win in the playoffs without that intensity. Tonight was a hard-fought and clean game, and Eastside really tested us."
With the game deadlocked at one heading into the second half, Eastside sophomore Liz Theurer scored her second goal of the night to put the Rams (13-4-2) ahead.
Eastside's lead was short-lived though, as P.K. Yonge (12-5) got an immediate goal from senior Nadine Bernier, and additional scores from Caitlyn and Sarah Ruegger to insure the win.
"We should have played better, but this definitely exposed some of our weakness, and it will help us come out next week and be more focused and poised," Eastside coach Matt Walker said. "We're just not playing well as a team right now, and when you get to the postseason, you have to put 80 minutes together. We didn't do that against P.K. Yonge or Buchholz (Tuesday), but that's what practice is for, and we'll be ready for next week."
The Rams will travel to Ocala for the District 4-4A tournament, while fourth-ranked P.K. Yonge (2A) heads to Orange Park to take on No. 10 Oak Hall for the third time this season.
Although St. Johns Country Day is the favorite in its district, Class 2A uniquely has at-large playoff berths up for grabs, and given the strength of the P.K. Yonge and Oak Hall programs, the third-place team is also expected to advance into regional play.
The Blue Wave topped Oak Hall 1-0 earlier in the year, but the Eagles got a 2-1 victory in their second meeting.
"We've had a lot of good chances against Oak Hall, but just couldn't finish," said Fabulich, who plans to spend part of the weekend watching tape of the last game between the two schools. "We've just got to play up to the next level, and leave it all out on the field."
Matt Cannizzaro can be reached at (352) 374-5052 or sunpreps@hotmail.com.

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