P.K. Yonge, Eastside girls capture district titles
Published: Friday, January 20, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 12:11 a.m.
ALACHUA — The P.K. Yonge girls soccer team entered Friday night's District 5-2A championship game against Santa Fe with just one loss on its record.
The title game was a great opportunity for the Blue Wave to make up for that lone regular-season setback, which came against the Raiders at Raider Field.
P.K. Yonge, fueled by the play of senior Allison Mervau, didn't waste the chance at payback.
Kirsten Washington, off a pretty feed from Mervau, scored the game's only goal in the 10th minute to lift the Blue Wave to a 1-0 win and to their first district title since 2009.
P.K. Yonge (19-1-3) will host Mount Dora in Tuesday night's Class 2A, Region 2 quarterfinal, while Santa Fe will travel to Ocala Trinity Catholic.
“It is great especially being a senior this year, it is really awesome,” Mervau said. “We tied them the first game of the season for district and then we lost to them.
“You want revenge and you are also the underdog, so they don't expect it. They were laughing during the warm-up and just chit-chatting. We were serious, we were focused and we were ready to come out and play.”
From the opening whistle, Mervau, who scored her 100th career goal in Wednesday's semifinal win over Keystone Heights, looked ready to make her mark on the game.
Despite playing stopper as part of P.K. Yonge's defensive gameplan, she had a handful of opportunities to help out the offense.
In the 10th minute, she had her main chance. Mervau stole a pass just inside the midfield stripe and raced down the right side of the field. She then turned the corner and was operating on the end line and sent a nice pass right in front of the goal.
After slightly bobbling the ball, Washington quickly recovered and knocked it in past Santa Fe goalkeeper Jayanti Moy.
“She put the team on her back tonight,” said P.K. Yonge first-year coach Marshall Blair. “You can put her anywhere on the field and she is going to play well.
“When you put a captain like her in the spotlight, that is what should happen. Allison is not afraid of the the spotlight.”
Mervau, along with junior Nicki Llinas and midfielder Anya Bernhard, anchored the Blue Wave defense in front of goalkeeper Amanda Krpan, who posted the shutout.
P.K. Yonge outshot Santa Fe 6-3 and did a good job of slowing down Santa Fe's top scorers in Jordyn Register and Suzanne Anderson.
The Raiders (14-2-1) did receive a good defensive effort from fleet-footed senior Thalia Menifee.
“We just didn't capitalize on the right opportunities,” Santa Fe first-year coach Bill McDavid said.
“I think they have a lot to be proud of even though it didn't come out the way we wanted.”
DISTRICT 5-3A: They needed three second-half goals to do it, but the Eastside girls notched their fourth consecutive district title on Friday with a 5-2 win over North Marion.
After going down a goal early, the Rams got two goals each from seniors Sarah Collings and Audrey Simonne. Simonne also had three assists.
“(This season is) moving along the way it's supposed to be moving,” said Eastside head coach Jenn Richards. “We've always had trouble getting past the first round of regionals.
“Hopefully this is the boost of confidence, because I think this team is doing it.”
Eastside will host Brooksville Nature Coast on Tuesday in the Class 3A, Region 2 quarterfinals.
“We need to be able to put together two halves rather than work really hard in the second half to come back. We need to keep the intensity throughout the game.”
Correspondent Mike Balducci contributed to this report.
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