P.K. takes home district crown

P.K. Yonge's Mariel Mena, right, takes the ball past Newberry's Hillary Butler during the Blue Wave's 3-1 victory over the host Panthers.

TRACY WILCOX/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Saturday, January 21, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 21, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
After playing Newberry twice without getting a win, P.K. Yonge received vindication when it mattered the most.
Freshman April Durant scored the first two goals, and sophomore Mariel Mena added a goal and two assists as the Blue Wave (8-7-1) defeated the host Panthers, 3-1, for the first time in three games to capture the District 3-3A championship.
"Tonight (we) basically played with all heart and desire," P.K. Yonge coach Pauline Hazan said. "They played for each other and left it all on the field."
Durant scored her first goal in the fourth minute. Mena found Durant breaking free around midfield. She ran past the Panther defenders and beat goalie Alex Sutherland, who looked like the shot caught her by surprise.
"Before the game, I let (April) know that Mariel gets a lot of pressure on her, so she gets that open space," Hazan said. "She really stepped it up for us tonight."
Durant scored her second goal two minutes into the second half with a low shot that beat the new goalie, Natalie Dahbour.
In the 55th minute, Mena showed why she is one of the best players in the area. She juked three different defenders with ease and blasted a rocket that Dahbour had no chance of saving to extend the lead.
"It was a lot of frustration coming out from previous weeks on that goal," Hazan said. "She's been a huge asset to our team."
Despite being down by three goals, the Panthers (10-8-3) refused to fold. Newberry stepped up the offensive pressure, and it paid off. Josi Strode intercepted a free kick and scored in the 76th minute.
With two minutes left, Strode hit another shot that went just wide of the net. Norris hit a free kick that sailed over the net, and right before time expired, Julia Phillips kicked a ball that went wide right.
"I wasn't sure that we could come back from three down with 10 minutes to go, but I thought we could make a couple of them and make it interesting at the end," Newberry coach David Hartwell said. "I'm very happy with the team's effort."
P.K. Yonge will host the district 4-3A runner-up, while Newberry will travel to face the district 4-3A winner.
  • DISTRICT 2-3A CHAMPIONSHIP: Taylor County defeated host Florida High 3-2 in overtime. Bulldog goalie Elizabeth Cooper recorded 10 saves in the victory. Taylor County improves to 13-7 and will host the runner-up of the District 1-3A championship game.
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