Rams near fourth straight district title

Published: Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 20, 2012 at 12:01 a.m.

The Eastside girls soccer team rallied to beat host Palatka, 4-2 in Thursday night's District 5-3A semifinal.

The Rams trailed 2-1 early in the second half, before scoring three unanswered goals to clinch their fifth straight regional playoff spot.

Eastside (12-4-3) will be in search of its fourth consecutive district championship as it faces North Marion tonight at 7.

Emma London scored for the top-seeded Rams in the 61st minute to tie the game at 2-2, before Haley Burger found the back of the net nine minutes later. Audrey Simonne, who had the assist on Burger's goal, scored in the 79th minute to provide the final margin. Sarah Collings had a goal and Esther Blondeau-LeComte had an assist for Eastside.

District 3-1A: St. Francis, a Class 2A state semifinalist a year ago, saw its season end in heartbreaking fashion on Thursday. The Wolves and Jacksonville Christ's Church Academy were deadlocked at 1-1 after regulation and two overtime periods. The Eagles then won the penalty kick shootout 3-2 to advance to tonight's district title game against Orange Park St. Johns Country Day, 8-0 semifinal winners over Oak Hall.

Andrea Garrido gave St. Francis (12-6-1) a 1-0 lead just before halftime, while Annie-Kate Smith knotted the score at 1-1 in the 69th minute. Jessica Bradley and Celine Hickey made their penalty kicks for St. Francis, while Cara Castleman, Katie Tinsley and Taylor Stratton each scored in the shootout for the Eagles (19-1-0).

St. Francis was looking for its fifth straight regional playoff berth.

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