HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS SOCCER

Blue Wave face tough team in Celtics


Published: Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 9:15 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 9:15 p.m.

P.K. Yonge girls soccer coach Marshall Blair said he has not sugarcoated anything when it comes to speaking to his team about tonight's Class 2A, Region 2 semifinal match with Ocala Trinity Catholic.

The Celtics come to town with a 21-0-1 record, having outscored their opponents this season by a total combined score of 163-10. The Celtics, who have three players with at least 25 goals this season, have scored 34 goals and given up just one in three District 6-2A tournament contests and in Tuesday's regional quarterfinal win over Santa Fe.

“They are easily the toughest opponent that we have faced all season,” Blair said. “You can look at their record and look at their stat sheet and it is a pretty good description of how good they are.”

Last week, P.K. Yonge defeated Santa Fe 1-0 to win the District 5-2A title and then blanked Mount Dora 2-0 in Tuesday's regional quarterfinal. Comparatively, the Celtics hammered Mount Dora 9-1 to claim the District 6-2A crown and then blasted Santa Fe 8-0.

“We had to work hard for those victories, but you look at the scores that Trinity Catholic put on them and it is very clear of how good of a team they are,” Blair said. “We have our work cut out for us.”

Alyssa Eashoo has 37 goals and 20 assists for the Celtics as does Tabitha Tindell, who missed the Santa Fe game with a hip injury. Trinity Catholic's twin-sister tandem of Briana and Abigail Camargo has combined for 40 goals and 42 assists. The Celtics have advanced to the regional finals in each of the last four years.

“My girls know how good Trinity Catholic is,” Blair said. “We know they are a high-scoring team, and we're going to have to play really good defense to stay in the game.”

The Blue Wave (20-1-3) are led by the versatile Allison Mervau. The senior has 35 goals and 25 assists this season and has played forward for most of the season. But it is expected that she'll be at the stopper position, like she has been the last few games, in order to stabilize the defense.

Blair will need good defensive performances from Nicki Llinas, Sarah Waters, Crystal Waters, Morgan Green and Megan Whitehurst in order to slow down the Celtics.

Goalkeeper Amanda Krpan could also be in for a busy evening for P.K. Yonge, which has 18 shutout wins this season. Anya Bernhard (21 goals, 12 assists) and Maya Fisher (14 goals, 2 assists) might be factors offensively for the Blue Wave, who have outscored their opponents 105-11 this winter.

“For 80 minutes we're going to play regardless of the score. We're not going to quit, that is for sure,” Blair said. “We are not going to lie down.”

Girls Soccer Regional Semifinal Capsule

Game starts at 7 p.m.

Admission: $7 per game

WHO: Ocala Trinity Catholic (21-0-1) at P.K. Yonge (20-1-3)

WHAT: Class 2A, Region 2

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Trinity Catholic defeated Santa Fe 8-0 in the regional quarterfinals; P.K. Yonge defeated Mount Dora 2-0 in the regional quarterfinals

WHAT'S NEXT: P.K. Yonge would host Orlando Bishop Moore or Orlando Lake Highland Prep in Tuesday's regional finals; Trinity Catholic would host either school as well.

FREE KICK: The Blue Wave are in the regional semifinals for the second straight year. With a win, P.K.Yonge will advance to the regional finals for the second time in school history and for the first time since 2004; The undefeated Celtics have cruised this season up to this point, outscoring its opponents this season, 163-10. The Celtics are looking to reach the regional finals for the fifth straight season. This is the first playoff meeting between the schools.

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