Buchholz overcomes winds, Spruce Creek

Buchholz's Louis Allen controls a long pass in a 2-0 regional quarterfinal win over Spruce Creek at Jonesville Park Soccer Complex on Wednesday night.

Brett Le Blanc/Correspondent
Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 11:34 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 11:34 p.m.

The rain may have held off in Wednesday's Region 1-5A quarterfinal, but gusty winds proved to be just as big of an opponent as Port Orange Spruce Creek for the Buchholz boys soccer team.

The Bobcats overcame both.

Diego Fisher and Louis Allen both scored goals, and goalkeeper Hunter Patrick had seven saves as Buchholz, ranked No. 4 nationally by MaxPreps, blanked the Hawks, 2-0, at Jonesville Complex.

With the victory, the Bobcats (16-1-4) will host Saturday's regional semifinals against a very familiar opponent in Jacksonville Mandarin. Buchholz beat the Mustangs, 3-1, last week to capture its first district title since 2001.

“(The wind) makes it a lot harder to play our style,” said Buchholz coach Andy Aulick. “We play a lot of balls over the top and long balls. The wind really factored into it. It made the game a little more sloppy than we would have liked.”

Fisher broke a scoreless tie with his goal at the 34th minute of the first half, turning a feed from Louis Allen and whipping around for about an 8-yard shot into the net.

Allen, with the wind to his back in the second half, added the second goal, taking an assist from Troy Vaughn and sprinting down the right side, kicking it past Spruce Creek goalie Chris Page at the 46th minute.

It was obvious from the start how the winds were affecting passing for both teams, especially the Bobcats who opened the game playing into the breeze.

“At halftime I told them I was really proud of them weathering that storm, constantly having the ball come back at us,” Aulick said. “The wind was holding us up. I told them it would be a big difference in the second half with the wind coming our way.”

Saturday's meeting with Mandarin (17-3) will be the fourth time these two teams have met this season. The first two meetings during the regular season ended in ties, but Buchholz broke through the last time with the district title, beating the Hawks at their place to do it.

Now Mandarin comes to Gainesville looking to end the Bobcats season once again.

“We can't avoid them, we have to go through them,” Aulick said. “You have to beat the best to be the best.

“We know if we lose we are out. There are a bunch of seniors that don't want to lose. They don't want to play their last game yet. I feel like they are ready to take on whoever comes their way.”

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