Oak Hall cruises to win district


Published: Friday, January 19, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 19, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

For the second consecutive year, the Oak Hall girls soccer team shut out St. Augustine St. Joseph in the District 4-2A championship game, beating the visiting Flashes 4-0 on Thursday night.

The Eagles (15-5-2) wasted no time jumping out to an early lead, as freshman midfielder Sam Bleiweis beat St. Joseph keeper Jenny Cuevas with a low line drive in the first minute of play.

"It was really important, because we wanted to get their hopes down," said junior Colleen Ugliano, who recorded a goal and an assist.

The Flashes (13-8-1) struggled keeping Oak Hall under wraps offensively, as the Eagles firmly entrenched themselves in St. Joseph's half of the field. The constant offensive pressure paid off in the 17th minute, as junior Sarah Fagler received a perfect pass on a free kick from Ugliano, and headed the ball past Cuevas for Oak Hall's second goal.

The Eagles struck again in the 22nd minute, as junior Emily Shore nailed a laser from the top of the box to put Oak Hall ahead 3-0. The Eagles fired 13 shots in the first half, including eight in the first 20 minutes.

"The flip side of that is probably we should get more goals," Oak Hall coach Basil Benjamin said. "They played with a lot of heart and intensity."

Ugliano scored the final goal in the 51st minute, as she gathered a long pass on a free kick from Shore and drove it past the goalie to cap off the scoring.

On the defensive end, the Eagles kept the Flashes in check for most of the game. With Ugliano and Shore rotating at sweeper, St. Joseph rarely maintained a steady attack. St. Joseph's best scoring chance in the first half came on a corner kick in the 37th minute, but the Flashes couldn't control the ball and Oak Hall quickly cleared it. St. Joseph only had one shot on goal all game, and it came in the final two minutes of the match.

"They've been working pretty hard on (defense), so we expected them to come out and play well," Benjamin said. "They did a great job."

In two regular season matches, Oak Hall tied the Flashes 1-1, and beat them 4-1 on the road. Ugliano said that the win gave the team a confidence boost entering the third meeting.

"We dominated that second game, so we were pretty confident coming into this game," Ugliano said.

Oak Hall will host Jacksonville Providence in the regional quarterfinals on Thursday. Providence lost to Orange Park St. John Country Day 8-0 in the District 3-2A final.

BUCHHOLZ 3, MANDARIN 1

In the District 1-6A final at Mandarin, the Bobcats (17-6-4) captured a district title for the first time in four years, despite losing nine seniors from last year's team.

"I think the poise was there," coach Ron Messick said. "We always play tough teams out of the district to prepare for these types of situations."

Freshman Lauren Hyden and sophomore Jessica Marshall scored in the first half to give Buchholz a 2-0 lead. Mandarin answered with a goal in the 49th minute to cut the lead to one, but junior Maja Reichardt scored in the 61st minute to clinch the game for the Bobcats.

"If we hadn't got that third goal, it could've been a disaster," Messick said. The Bobcats will host the District 2-6A runner-up in the regional quarterfinals on Thursday.

TALLAHASSEE FSU 3, TAYLOR COUNTY 2

In the District 2-3A title game, FSU successfully avenged last year's loss to the Bulldogs in the district final. Last year, Taylor County beat FSU for the school's first-ever outright district title. The Bulldogs will travel to face the District 1-3A champ on Thursday.

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