Girls soccer: Plant poised in 2-0 win
TAMPA - Bloomingdale's back line was solid all night as seniors Brittany and Amber Coca and Nicole Mallozzi turned away a number of Plant's chances Tuesday. Unfortunately for the Bulls, the Panthers' offense was just too poised, too tenacious and in the end, too much as Plant (12-1-1) secured the top spot in Class 5A-District 7 and a first-round district tournament bye with a 2-0 win Tuesday night. After the Panthers peppered the post and crossbar in the first half and put Bloomingdale (6-3-1) junior keeper Sydney Ross to work, Plant got on the board in the 35th minute, when Charlsey Greiwe found Abby Sanchez down the right side and the forward slipped through defenders and sent the eventual decider skipping to the far post. "Our defense has been the glue that has held us together all season, and it's a tough line to break through," Bloomingdale coach Heather Iverson said. "All the credit goes to Plant for getting through tonight." The Bulls defense was solid as they managed to keep a number of chances from midfielders Caroline Bado and Nastasia Asgedom from finding success, but the offensive attack was missing for Bloomingdale, as senior leaders Elyse Fontecchio (illness) and Bri Berrios (back) were unable to play."I think it was obvious they were missing two of their best players," Panthers coach Pam Smith said. "But you can tell they are really good and we had to step it up." The Panthers added some insurance in the second half when Bado fired a free kick into the box and the ball, deflected away, found senior Jayne Hagan who scored a goal through heavy traffic. From there, Plant's midfield anchored by Bado, and the Panthers' defense led early by senior Emy Pitisci and late by sophomore Kalen Leone and freshman Emily Evangelista clamped down, holding possession and keeping the Bulls to just two long-distance, low-risk shots in the match from Marisa Weber that were easily corralled by goalkeeper Kara Looby. "Kalen is unstoppable, like a bull in a china shop," Bado said of her teammate. "Our defense is amazing, and they always make it easy for us and Kara."