TAMPA — It took a while, but Tampa Prep finally got the goal it needed.
After Alexandra Daley was taken down hard and awarded a penalty kick, it was Alexa Steele-Wintraub who scored the game’s lone goal in the 96th minute to propel the Terrapins to a 1-0 win against district rival Holy Names.
“There’s something different, something special about this team,” Terrapins coach Cindy Schofield said. “We had so many chances and couldn’t get one, and I was starting to think our luck might run out.”
Tampa Prep (12-8-1) and Holy Names (16-3) split the two meetings this season. They played a scoreless regulation and first overtime that Tampa Prep dominated with chances and outshooting the Jaguars 16-3. Holy Names goalkeeper Kendall Catone had a fantastic game, stopping all shots on frame and shutting down most of the Terrapins’ chances. However, Catone took down Daley to give Tampa Prep the penalty kick.
“If she’s not taken down, she’s got that goal,” Schofield said. “It doesn’t matter until that, but that team improved a lot since (the district final). It wasn’t pretty, but it doesn’t matter.”
Daley, Haillie Lower and Steele-Weintraub led the attack for the Terrapins, while keeper Olivia Marshall had three big saves, including two late in the second half that kept Holy Names off the board.
“Both keepers played a great game, especially theirs,” Schofield said. “Big saves kept the game this way, but we’ve got something special going here and we’re going to ride it.”
5A-3: Jenkins gets past Newsome in PKs
LITHIA — Newsome defeated Lakeland Jenkins twice by one goal this season, but Eagles sophomore Katherine Stokes was a spectator as she recovered from a torn ACL suffered over the summer.
In Tuesday’s Class 5A-Region 3 final, Stokes’ time was brief but costly for the Wolves as she nailed the deciding penalty kick to top undefeated Newsome 1-0 (3-1 in PKs).
Newsome (19-1), which carried play through regulation and two overtime periods but saw every shot careen off a post and every header off a corner sail high. In the penalty kick round, only junior Karli Gutsche found the net as Jenkins got conversions from Lauren Greene, Lyndi Elms and finally Stokes.
“All the credit to every one of our kids, from the starters down to everybody on the bench,” Jenkins coach and former Bloomingdale soccer standout Marissa Kazbour said. “I think it can be hard when you’ve lost twice to a team, but I told my kids, ‘We have a chance, an opportunity and we need to win when it counts,’ and that is what we did.”
The Wolves held an 8-3 advantage in shots on goal in the match, but missed their first three penalty kicks, including one saved by Eagles keeper Haleigh Mercer, who finished the match with seven saves. After the loss, Wolves coach Kelly Townsend said there wasn’t anything she thought her team could have done differently.
“My kids stepped up and played incredibly well,” Townsend said, “it just didn’t go our way.”
4A-2: Mitchell cruises into final with 4-1 win
WINTER HAVEN — The halftime score probably made a few people at Mitchell do a double-take.
Tied at 1, the Mustangs (24-0) were in unfamiliar territory: a narrow, wet field and not dominating a soccer game.
“They weren’t used to the field — it just wasn’t something they’d seen,” Mustangs coach Karl Kukec said. “But once they adjusted to it, they dominated like they have all year.”
Mitchell would go on to defeat Winter Haven (20-3-2) 4-1 and advance to its second straight region final, where it will host undefeated reigning 4A state champ Melbourne.
“Its going to be a battle of giants, of two undefeated teams,” Kukec said. “It’s going to be a good game, and I think that whoever comes out of that one has a good chance at winning states. I hope it’s us.”
In the first half Tuesday, Mitchell grabbed its first goal from Nova commitment Balea Schumacher, but the team felt some nervous minutes early in the first half, Kukec said.
Headed into the second half, the Mustangs looked like the team that has now outscored opponents 134-6 and got a quick goal from Angelica Stege. Casey Bruno would add the final two goals, including one right before the final whistle.
Kukec said he’s been pleased with the play at every position, but added that players such as Bruno and Stege, and others such as FAU commitment Gina Davis and Schumacher, have stepped up down the stretch and allowed the team to win games, even though leading scorer Sabrina Wagner (39 goals) didn’t score.
“Everyone is picking it up this postseason,” Kukec said. “That’s what we need.”
3A-3: Largo stops Robinson in penalties
TAMPA — After suffering last-minute losses the last two years in the girls regional soccer playoffs, it looked like Robinson would finally break through in Tuesday’s Class 3A-Region 3 semifinal against Largo.
Following a 1-1 tie through regulation and two scoreless overtimes, Robinson converted its first three penalty kicks and led 3-2. All the Knights needed was one good penalty kick in the last two chances to seal victory.
It didn’t happen. The Knights’ fourth penalty kick bounced off the right post and the second sailed over the crossbar. Largo, meantime, converted its last two penalty kicks of its five penalty shots.
A few minutes later, Largo won when it converted its sixth penalty kick and Robinson missed wide left. Final score: Largo 2-1 (6-5 in penalty kicks).
“I thought the region curse was finally going to broken,” Robinson coach Billy Helms said. “But it wasn’t meant to be.”
Robinson (14-6) led 1-0 until the 73rd minute when Largo’s Kennedy Flynn headed a ball near the top of the box that bounced past the Knights’ keeper and rolled into the net’s right side.
3A-2: Land O’ Lakes edges Nature Coast
BROOKSVILLE — With Tuesday night’s first half nearly spent, Land O’ Lakes senior Catherine Gray had just enough time to fire a throw-in into the goal box.
Gators fans are glad, as she connected with the team’s leading scorer, sophomore striker Victoria Cannata.
Cannata tucked in a shot — her team-best 27th goal — just inside the near post with 15 seconds left in the first half for the difference in Land O’Lakes’ 1-0 win against host Nature Coast Technical.
The 3A-8 champion Gators climbed to 25-1 behind their seventh straight shutout.
Junior goalkeeper Lauren Arrabito barely broke a sweat, earning her 15th shutout of the season while facing two NCT (20-3-2) shots. She had one save in the final minute of the match.
In an even matchup, the loss snapped the 3A-7 champion Sharks’ 12-match unbeaten streak and an opportunity to set the Hernando County record for wins in a season (21).
Sharks goalie Samantha Oliveira kept the hosts in the match despite facing 14 shots, with seven saves.
Land O’ Lakes will tangle with Palm Cost-Matanzas on Friday for the 3A-2 title.