Wave into regional semis
Published: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at 11:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at 11:43 p.m.
P. K. Yonge senior Allison Mervau's perfectly placed corner kick in the 62nd minute broke a scoreless tie, and she added an insurance goal less than 10 minutes later on an unassisted blast from 12 yards out to lift the Blue Wave to a 2-0 win over visiting Mount Dora in a Class 2A, Region 2 quarterfinal match Tuesday night.
The Hurricanes took it to the favored Blue Wave early on, controlling play for much of the first half behind the quickness of Breanna Lemerise and Ashley Mosher, the latter of whom just missed connecting on a couple of first-half shots. But they had to settle for a 0-0 tie at the break thanks to some outstanding defense from the host team, led by Mervau, fellow tri-captains Sarah Waters and Anya Bernhard and senior goalkeeper Amanda Krpan.
“They came at us really quick and we had to kind of settle in because we came out a little flat, which is what you don't want to do against a team like this in a regional quarterfinal,” said first-year Blue Wave head coach Marshall Blair. “I think once we hit the water break, we made some adjustments to slow the game down. That was the big thing, slowing it down and playing our game.
“I credit the defense tonight all the way. To keep that team out of the net is phenomenal. Our defense really stepped up tonight.”
The Blue Wave (20-1-3) began to assert themselves in the second half, but couldn't find the net until Mervau's curving corner. Mount Dora goalkeeper Samantha Regula, who played solidly in defeat, actually caught the shot, but was standing in goal behind the line when she did so, and when the referee signaled a goal, the Blue Wave and their fans finally had a reason to celebrate.
“I've done it once before, but it was a long time ago,” Mervau said. “I've always wanted to do it again, and I've been trying to do it all season. I was just really happy to do it in this game. It was an awesome goal in my opinion, and it was just nice to have that first goal out there and draw first blood at home.”
With the outcome still in doubt, Mervau intercepted a pass in P. K. Yonge territory, took it straight down the middle of the field into the box and fired a rocket over a hard-charging Regula that found the upper part of the net in the 71st minute that made it 2-0 and effectively ended any upset hopes for the Hurricanes, who finished the season 11-10-3 under first-year head coach Damian Bardoni.
Mervau now has 35 goals this season to go with 25 assists.
“What can you say about Allison Mervau? She was as clutch as ever,” Blair said. “She gets the big goal off the corner, then seals the victory with a 1-v-1 like that. To come from a defensive position and make the run to score a goal, I mean, you just don't expect a defender to do that. I credit her all the way. She made a great run and she tucked it away.”
P. K. Yonge will host a regional semifinal Friday at 7 p.m. against undefeated Ocala Trinity Catholic (21-0-1), who defeated Alachua Santa Fe, 8-0.
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