GIRLS SOCCER: REGIONAL QUARTERFINALS
Santa Fe wins first playoff regional, eyes Celtics
Published: Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 11:19 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 11:19 p.m.
ALACHUA — When your team has never won a playoff game in the program's history, when it does happen, like it did Thursday night for Santa Fe's girls soccer team, it is a big step forward.
Senior Jordyn Register kicked in a pair of goals with an assist in leading the Raiders to a 5-2 win over Umatilla in the Region 2-2A quarterfinals at Raider Field.
Now comes the hard part — taking on defending 2A state champion Ocala Trinity Catholic.
That will come Tuesday in the regional semifinals, when the Raiders (25-1) will host the talented Celtics (15-3-1), who cruised over Keystone Heights in Ocala, 9-0, in one half of play.
“Trinity Catholic is loaded from top to bottom,” said Raiders coach Ken Murphy. “They are a very experienced group of girls that have been together for quite a few years. It is going to be tough.”
Umatilla (7-12) never really threatened to take the lead in Thursday's game, and Santa Fe, from the very start, was aggressively attacking on offense. But despite the many shots on goal, only Cassie Bromenschenkel's kick in the 20th minute and Register's first goal in the 35th minute gave the Raiders a 2-0 lead at the half.
Freshman Kim Melton scored early in the second half for Santa Fe, and Register follow soon afterward with her second goal of the night for a 4-0 Raiders' advantage.
Sophomore Taylor Martin, who had two assists, scored in the 69th minute for Santa Fe, which won its eighth straight game.
“It feels good,” said Register, the area's leading scorer. “I think we could have played better. We did what we had to do in the end to beat them.”
The Raiders are playing without starting midfielder Suzanne Anderson, who was injured in the 3-0 district final win over Keystone Heights last week.
“She is a big part of our game,” said Santa Fe junior defender Bianca Irizarry. “We just have to bounce back. We will be playing without her.”
In two previous playoff meetings with Trinity Catholic, the Raiders have lost 8-0 both times.
“It will take all of my players to play as well as they ever have because Trinity Catholic is a very good team,” Irizarry said. “We played them last year, and most of the team gave up. We just have to come out with the heart that we can do it.”
Murphy said the pressure to win the program's first regional playoff game was on the minds of the girls coming into their game with Umatilla. The Raiders won their first 17 games before suffering their only loss of the season to Gainesville.
“That was a little bit in their heads, being the first ones to win a regional game,” he said. “I'm proud of their efforts. As a group, they are very cohesive. They support each other. Trinity Catholic is a team that is well seasoned. Hopefully it won't be 40 degrees that night.”
TRINITY CATHOLIC 9, KEYSTONE HEIGHTS 0: In Ocala, Keystone Heights' girls soccer team got a difficult reward for reaching the FHSAA Class 2A playoffs - a regional quarterfinal trip to defending state champion Ocala Trinity Catholic.
And that didn't go well for the Indians, who were defeated 9-0 by the Celtics.
Briana Camargo, Lindsey Pinder and Julie Gruber each scored a pair of goals to lead Trinity (15-3-1), which will visit Santa Fe in Tuesday's 2A, Region 2 semifinal.
Keystone's season ended with a 17-9-1 record.
- John Patton
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