Area soccer teams start strong in tourney

Published: Friday, January 4, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 4, 2008 at 12:07 a.m.

Area teams were 5-3 in opening-day action of the Bobcat Invitational Soccer Tournament, held at various locations throughout Gainesville. While some teams started off hot despite the cold day, the tournament’s namesake had a rough start.

The host Buchholz girl’s team scored the first two goals of the tournament, taking an early 2-0 lead behind two quick scores in the opening minutes of the game. The lead wasn’t enough to stave off a late first-half charge from Bayside, which won 3-2 in a shootout.

The first score came in the 11th minute when Lauren Hyden took a header on the left side of the net surrounded by three defenders. The sophomore tapped it out of the crowd, stepped out and drilled the ball past Bayside senior goalie Madeline Helsel. Seconds later, senior captain Maja Reichardt took an unassisted fast-break goal in to give the Bobcats a 2-0 lead.

That lead would disappear in the final minutes of the half when the Bears scored two goals in a 10-minute span. The first came from senior defender Sarah Gardner, who tapped in a ball that fell her way after a deflection off of Buchholz goalie Brittany Hardin in the 23rd minute. Bayside tied the score in the 31st minute when Heather Botehlo scored off of the Bears’ second penalty kick of the half. The kick was good from 12-yards out.

The Bobcats (13-2-4), who pressed the action throughout the first half, slipped during the final minutes and once again took control in the second half. Buchholz controlled the tempo of the game, pressuring the Bayside defense through the final whistle. That pressure still wasn’t enough to keep the game from going into penalty kicks to decide the winner.

Bayside (12-5-1) took a 1-0 lead after the first round of kicks and scored on all but one attempt. The Bobcats fell behind when Alex Stanjojev and Shelby Hayes failed to score on their attempts.

“We dominated the start of the first half, but couldn’t control it through the half,” said Buchholz coach Ron Messick. “We came out and dominated the second half, but couldn’t put the ball in the goal to take the win.”

The Eastside girl’s team prepared for today’s matchup against state powerhouse Niceville (2 p.m., Kanapaha) with a 1-0 defeat of Tallahassee Leon. The game’s lone score came in the 31st minute when Liz Harlan fed Kelly Masteller for the go-ahead goal.

In other girl’s action, Columbia beat Santa Fe 4-3 and North Broward defeated Oak Hall 1-0. For the boys, Gainesville defeated Lake Brantley 1-0, Buchholz beat Bay 3-0 and Santa Fe shut-out Pensacola High 2-0.

Play continues today, with teams playing two game each. Games are held on the six fields at the Jonesville Soccer Complex as well as at the Kanapaha fields. Admission is $5.

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