SPRING HILL — For the second consecutive day, top-seeded Carrollwood Day received four goals from four different players, this time to capture the Class 1A-District 5 championship with a 4-0 win over Bishop McLaughlin.
This was the third meeting between the rivals, with each team winning once during the regular season. Carrollwood Day’s victory earlier this month accounted for Bishop McLaughlin’s lone loss entering Saturday’s match.
The match featured two of the state’s top scorers, with the Hurricanes’ Alex Stafford entering with 34 goals and the Patriots’ Miguel Ridruejo with 29.
However, both were closely shadowed or double-teamed and needed their teammates to step up.
With just over 21 minutes remaining in the first half, Jack Pironti, one of the two middle-schoolers on the Patriots’ roster, eluded three defenders and found teammate Sammy Muto in stride for a breakaway. Muto scored and Carrollwood Day took a 1-0 lead into halftime.
Less than a minute into the second half, a collision at the net resulted in a head injury to Bishop McLaughlin goalie Jason Kass, and he was unable to continue.
Carrollwood Day (16-4-1) capitalized, scoring three second-half goals to pull away. Pironti scored to make it 2-0, Austin Ham followed two minutes later for a 3-0 lead, and John Frost closed the scoring.
Assistant coach Rob Nugent, who was filling in for head coach Jim Harte, felt it was a match that could have gone either way.
“We were fortunate to capitalize on the opportunities we had,” Nugent said.
For Pironti, it was a match he will never forget.
“It’s an honor to play with the high school athletes and I’m glad I was able to contribute,” he said.
Carrollwood Day will host Indian Rocks Christian in a 1A-Region 2 quarterfinal Thursday, while Bishop McLaughlin (15-2-2) will travel to Shorecrest Prep.