Wakulla's goalie makes 31 saves to hold back Suwannee

Published: Friday, January 28, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 28, 2005 at 12:49 a.m.
LIVE OAK - Suwannee took all the shots, but Wakulla came off the field with the upset win in the District 2-3A girls' soccer final 2-1 on penalty kicks.
Suwannee outshot Wakulla 32-4, but thanks to a tremendous performance by Wakulla keeper Sara Lovestrand, who put herself in perfect position time and again to rack up 31 saves, the War Eagles were able to steal a victory.
"This is her first year playing," Wakulla coach Vince Pecoraro said. "She's an excellent keeper. She was all heart tonight. We all were."
Suwannee beat Wakulla 5-0 earlier this year on the same field, and in the early going, it looked like it would be more of the same.
Suwannee forward Kelsey Bowen put in a rebound after a corner kick just 3:01 in, but Lovestrand shut the door from there.
Wakulla got even just 10 minutes later when two Suwannee defenders collapsed on Wakulla forward Jamie Nichols in the box. Suwannee keeper Al Cash saved the penalty kick, but the War Eagles got off two more shots before any Suwannee defenders got back. Chelsie Holt put the second of those shots in an open net.
Wakulla only put one more shot on the net in the remaining 67 minutes of play and 20 minutes of overtime, choosing instead to keep eight players in the box every time Suwannee brought the ball upfield.
In fact, at one point in the second overtime, Wakulla had all 11 players in the box for a Suwannee corner kick. Despite this defense, the Bulldogs had their chances. Ashley Harris missed two breakaway opportunities, and Katie Prevatt saw a perfect cross attempt late in the second half ricochet of the diving hands of Lovestrand.
"It wasn't a set plan to pull back our defense," Pecoraro said. "We're just very young. We only have two seniors. We are just happy to have beaten two really good teams back to back."
Wakulla beat No. 2 seed Taylor in the semifinals. Suwannee coach Kathy Wood declined to talk after the match.

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