DADE CITY — The game lost some of its hype before it even started.
Yet, Sunlake still dominated easily and downed Class 3A-District 8 foe Pasco 7-0 at W.F. Edwards Stadium on Monday evening.
“When they play good possession, then that’s when they play their best,” Seahawks coach Jami Finan said. “They gel very well together and have been getting better as the season goes along.”
Sunlake (8-1-2, 8-1-1) was already headed into this game without its leading scorer, senior Emily Higgins (13 goals), due to a knee injury. Then, over Thanksgiving weekend, the Pirates (7-3, 7-3) lost their leading scorer, junior Ashton Brock, who has a county-high 19 goals.
“They were all looking forward to matching up and playing one another,” Pasco coach Daniel Herndon said.
Sunlake, however, outplayed Pasco most of the game, including allowing just one shot on goal, while freshman Landon Carter picked up her eighth shutout.
And even though the Seahawks were also missing junior Cassidy Kallenborn, they still got two goals apiece from Diarana Tirado, Kim Devoe and Cassidy Place, who now is tied with a team-high 13 goals, and a goal and an assist from Carly Hill.
Tirado was playing in her first varsity match and contributed two late goals.
“When you lose players, you can’t let it get your head down,” said Place, who is a Saint Leo commit. “We have others players, too, and we’re still playing with the same intensity.
“We are better than we were last year,” Place added, referring to the team’s first postseason berth in program history. “And its because we got a good group of freshmen and we have unfinished business.”