Santa Fe ousted by Crystal River in quarters

Published: Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 28, 2011 at 12:21 a.m.

ALACHUA — Santa Fe had hopes of winning the school’s first-ever girls soccer regional playoff game on Thursday night.

But the Raiders appeared to feel the pressure of that situation, and had their hopes dashed with a 3-1 loss to Crystal River in a Class 3A, Region 2 quarterfinal at Raider Field.

Santa Fe, which controlled the ball for most of the evening, made a pair of mistakes that proved costly, resulting in two of the Pirates’ goals. The Raiders (18-6-1) saw their season come to an end in their sixth overall playoff appearance, while Crystal River (16-8-1) will now play at Ocala Trinity Catholic in Tuesday’s regional semifinals.

“It is very disappointing. I really feel this team had a lot more potential,” Santa Fe coach Erik Nystrom said. “I think we came out flat today, and maybe it was the pressure of being in a regional game like this, considering Santa Fe has never won.”

After the Raiders opened the game by spending most of the first 19 minutes on the Pirates’ end of the field, Crystal River’s Clarissa Consol delivered an arching shot from about 30 yards away on the right side. Santa Fe freshman goalkeeper Jayanti Watson came out, but misplayed the ball as it bounced into the net to give Crystal River a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute.

The Pirates took advantage of another lapse by the Raiders in the third minute of the second half.

Two Santa Fe defenders started to converge on a free ball in their end of the field. However, each defender appeared to think the other was going to secure the ball. Instead, they both turned away from it and Consol took the ball and fired a shot from 22 yards out into the upper left corner of the goal. In the 56th minute, Haley Dewhurst scored on a free kick from 23 yards out on the left side, giving the Pirates a 3-0 cushion.

In the following minute, Santa Fe’s Lindsey Rivas delivered a short pass off a corner kick to Naomi Lux on the left side. Rivas got the ball back on a give-and-go about 15 yards out and drilled a shot inside the right post for the eventual final margin.

Santa Fe out-shot Crystal River 10-4 on the night. Goalkeeper Melanie Lim made nine saves for the Pirates, while Aubrie Menster and Nicole McPhee each had an assist. Crystal River has now won two consecutive road playoff games in its only two playoff trips in school history.

“It has been a good year and we took care of priority No. 1, which was to win districts,” Nystrom said. “I told the girls that I see more potential out of them, it just didn’t show up tonight.

“I am very proud of them, and very proud of the season, but I just don’t want to keep settling. Otherwise we will keep settling.”

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