PLANT CITY – Both teams wanted to make the best of the East County rivalry match, but with Plant City and Durant each starting district tournament play today, Friday’s non-district meeting between the Raiders and Cougars felt more exhibition than bragging-rights battle.
Plant City (15-2) capped its most successful regular season in school history with a 2-1 win against Durant (9-4) as a second-half, midfield battle yielded one shot on goal for the Raiders and senior Ericka Lott sent a shot from about 10 yards out into the box and off the fingertips of Cougars keeper Sam Wenrich.
“We knew we needed to take our opportunity to jump on them in the second half,” Lott said. “We knew we had to get our momentum back quickly.”
Durant sophomore Mack Thompson took a pass early in the match and charged toward the box, drawing out Raiders keeper Taylor Michael, who made a play on the ball and Thompson was shaken up in the collision.
Plant City took the early advantage when senior Stephanie Galloway came from the outside into the 18-yard box, sent a pass across the goal to freshman Drew Knotts, who finished for her 10th goal. Thompson, who was still limping from her collision with Michael, played through the pain, and a few minutes later she took a Rebekah Anderson pass and evened the match from inside the keeper’s box.
Thompson was held out of the match in the second half with a right leg contusion, but Durant’s coaches said they don’t expect her to miss any time due to the injury.