High school girls soccer roundup

Published: Friday, January 25, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 25, 2008 at 12:31 a.m.

A group of about 50 friends and family, as well as 20 teary-eyed teammates applauded Maja Reichardt and Allie Bullard as they left the locker room at Citizens Field Thursday. For the pair of senior captains, it was an ovation that came too soon.

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Providence's Hannah Storandt (17) attempts to strike the ball during the regional soccer playoffs against Oak Hall Thursday. Providence won 2-0.

CHARLES ROOP/Special to the Sun

After cruising through the area in the regular season, the Bobcats squandered a 2-0 halftime lead and fell 3-2 to Flagler Palm Coast in overtime of the Region 1-6A girl’s soccer quarterfinals.

Bullard was playing for the first time in three weeks following a nasty collision that left a large knot on her head during a tournament last month. Her goal in the 34th minute followed up a Kim Sapienza score in the 27th and gave the Bobcats (15-4-5) an early advantage.

The Buchholz defense seemed to take the life out of the Bulldogs until Dana Robbins put in a 22-yard free kick in the 60th minute to trim the deficit to one.

Robbins would assist a Jenna Ecker goal nine minutes later to tie the score with less than 12 minutes to play. The goal reinvigorated FPC (15-9-4), which lost its leading scorer, junior Chelsea Barney, earlier in the game after a concussion.

The score would remain tied through regulation and into overtime when Robbins scored her second goal in almost identical fashion to her first. A free kick from 23 yards out on the left side of the field four minutes into the extra session ended the Bobcats season, and the high school careers of Bullard and Reichardt.

“I’m so proud of my team right now. It doesn’t even matter that we lost that game,” an emotional Bullard said outside of the locker room following one last team huddle. “They are such a great group of girls on and off the field. I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m so lucky to have every single girl as a friend and as a teammate. I love them all. I’ll never forget this year.”


The Hurricanes overcame terrible field conditions to advance to the region 1-4A semifinal, where they will travel to Jacksonville Bartram Trail.

After taking a 1-0 lead with a Hannah Kurdila goal in the fifth minute, the Golden Eagles evened the score with an Emily Pierce shot in the 37th that was aided by sand laid over mud puddles around the Citizens Field goals.

The sand played a large part in the footing everywhere as the field was hosting its seventh soccer match in the last three days. Combined with recent rains, the field was so soft in some parts that player’s shoes were sinking sole-deep into the dirt.

“The sand was really bothering me,” said Hurricane keeper Maggie Lajza, who fell after defending a shot and could only watch as the rebounded kick went past her. “Every time I punted, the sand would fly in the air and it was getting in my eyes. On the goal, I lost my footing because of it and fell.”

The tie didn’t last long as Gena Adams knocked in a 9-yard penalty kick past the outstretched arms of goalie Alex Roach 90 seconds later to give Gainesville (12-5-4) a 2-1 halftime lead.

Seniors Carson Simonton and Emily Dowd scored in the second half to seal the victory.

“This has been a banner year for GHS soccer,” said Hurricane coach Fritz Kaufmann. “We’ve got our girls going to the regional semifinals and we’ve got the boys playing (tonight at Citizens Field) for the district championship. It’s really good for the school and it’s great for local soccer.”


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Jacksonville Episcopal goalkeeper Glenn Van Dyke adjusted her gloves several times, jumped up and down to stay warm and did a whole lot of walking back and forth.

Not much else was needed from the Eagles' goalie, as Episcopal forced P.K. Yonge into just one shot on goal in the first half en route to a 6-0 win in the Region 1-3A quarterfinals on Thursday night.

"Basically, their whole team came out and played," Blue Wave head coach Pauline Hazan said. "We didn't anticipate going to the ball at all, and they just put us on our tails."

One week after Blue Wave seniors Kelli McCrery and Mariel Mena combined to score six goals in a district-clinching win against Fort White, it was the Eagles' duo of Katie Bartholomew and Theresa Diederich who took over, combining for five goals and three assists.

After having several open shots hit crossbars and sail just wide, Bartholomew found a cutting Diederich right in front of the goal at the 7:30 mark to open up the scoring. The two also hooked up at the 35- and 40-minute mark to give the Eagles a 3-0 lead going into the half.

"This is a very offensive-minded team," Episcopal head coach Danny Villarreal said. "(Bartholomew and Diederich) are good. They both play on premier club teams, and they work very well together."

While Diederich and Episcopal (14-7) kept penetrating on the Blue Wave (13-7-1), McCrery couldn't find any daylight, as she was hounded by multiple defenders every time she touched the ball.

"It's really hard when you're being manmarked," said McCrery, who's committed to Florida International University. "It's also hard when you've got young bodies out there and everybody's a little confused."

Episcopal, who will advance to the regional semifinals on Tuesday, got two more goals from Bartholomew and one late goal from Sarah Steeg.


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Thursday night marked the 11th straight season the Oak Hall girls soccer team played in a regional playoff match. But it also marked the first time since 2001, that the Eagles failed to post an opening-round win.

Oak Hall's season came to a close as it was shutout by Jacksonville Providence, 2-0 in a Region 1-2A quarterfinal.

"I thought the girls stepped up and played hard," said Oak Hall coach Basil Benjamin. "This is the first time in a long time that we've lost in the first round so it kind of stings a little."

It was also the fourth consecutive year that these two clubs met in the postseason, with the Stallions winning a regional semifinal match up in 2005, before Oak Hall topped Providence in a regional quarterfinal meeting in each of the last two seasons.

But the Stallions (18-9-1), who controlled the ball for most of the opening half, grabbed a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute as Christina Kinman beat Oak Hall goal keeper Morgan Johnson (13 saves) from in close. That was the score at halftime, before the Eagles (14-7-2) tried to knot the score in what proved to be their final half of action this season.

Oak Hall's best scoring opportunity came with just under 14 minutes left to play. Emily Shore, a Tennessee commitment, lofted a free kick from about midfield and placed it right in front of the goal. Providence keeper Katie Sambito (6 saves) made a play on the ball as did Oak Hall's Sarah Fagler, a Florida Gulf Coast commitment. The ball bounced free as both players collided. Seventh grader Desire Shepherd tried to knock in the rebound but hit the right post.

Amy Hamaty iced the contest and provided the final margin in the 75th minute as she scored off a cross from April Diffenderfer.

"This is the fourth year we've played them (in the playoffs). We knew coming into it that their primary objective was going to get Emily Shore and Colleen Ugliano involved in the game," said Providence coach Tony Graham, whose club will face defending 2A champion and district rival Orange Park St. Johns Country Day for the fourth time this season in Tuesday's regional semifinal. "We came into it thinking that if we could limit their touches and limit their opportunities that we would have a really good chance.

"That was our gameplan coming in and we were fortunate enough to have that happen tonight."

While Benjamin was happy with his team's performance this season, he thought the outcome might have been different if midfielder Ellie Theurer hadn't sprained her ankle about 5-6 weeks ago.

"I think the biggest difference was if we had Ellie Theurer playing in the midfield we probably had a far better chance of winning,"said Benjamin, who has guided the Eagles to the regional finals in each of the past two years. "We felt if we finished our opportunities we could have won this game and I think we were just a player short."


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Katie McCollum, Kayla Goodwin and Tysee Williams proved to be too much for the visitors, combining for five goals and four assists, as the Indians advanced to host Ocala Trinity Catholic (19-4-3) next Tuesday in the Class 3A, Region 2 semifinals.

Keystone Heights (13-7-2) basically put the game away between the 12th and 17th minutes of the first half when Lucie Korunkova, Goodwin and McCollum each scored to put the Indians ahead 3-0. Eventually, they took a 5-0 lead into the half.

Tori Beasley added two assists for Keystone Heights, which ended The Villages' season at 5-9-4.

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