Seminole Prevails In OT
SEMINOLE - It might have been a girls soccer game, but it could only be described as "physical" or "hard-nosed." Seminole (18-2-1) advanced with a 2-1 overtime win in the Class 5A-Region 3 semifinals against Lakewood Ranch (18-3-1) on Tuesday. Seminole and Lakewood Ranch, with two of the area's best defenses, battled throughout the game. Seminole goalkeeper Casey Merson had seven saves, and she has allowed seven goals this season. Lakewood Ranch goalkeeper Rachel Valari also was outstanding, facing 24 shots.The end came suddenly. With 7:35 left in the first overtime, Warhawks freshman Sierra Lelii took a pass from Taylor Mattox and drilled it home to end the game. Seminole scored first on a Megan Fisher shot with 31:30 left in the first half. The Mustangs came out strong in the second half, and Kaitlyn Wolfe found the net less than two minutes in. Seminole's defense faced the challenge of stopping Lakewood Ranch star Lindsay Thompson, who had 43 goals this season. Warhawks defenders shadowed Thompson and did not allow her to score. Seminole will play East Lake, which defeated Palm Harbor University. Palm Harbor handed Seminole its only losses this year. "It does not matter what opponent we play," Warhawks coach Steve Kuplicki said. "We are just happy to get another game Friday."