TAMPA — With an eye on leading his team deep into the playoffs this season, Jesuit sophomore and top scorer Lucas Gobea was determined to get things going when his first shot on goal was deflected off the crossbar by Osceola goalie Gabe Kraja.
When his offense set up another showdown with Kraja minutes later, Gobea connected for the first of three goals as Jesuit rolled to its 19th shutout this year, a 5-0 victory over Osceola in the Class 2A region quarterfinal.
The Tigers, who moved up Tuesday to a No. 8 national ranking by MaxPreps, improved to a 26-1 record this year and advance to Saturday’s semifinal against Jefferson in the schools’ fourth meeting this season.
After the game, Gobea was all smiles while celebrating the first hat trick of his career, a performance that gave him a team-high 16 goals this season.
"We just did a great job of passing it around," Gobea said. "That gave me a chance to go at the keeper. We attacked where they weren’t."
After an Osceola defender inadvertently knocked in Jesuit’s second goal, J.P. Madigan scored off a corner shot near the goal to give Jesuit a 3-0 halftime lead. Gobea capitalized early in the second half with two more goals to put the game away. On Gobea’s third goal, he brought in the corner kick, passed it, then got it back before dribbling past defenders before nailing a corner shot to score.
"They (Jesuit) were just better tactically and technically than we are," Osceola coach Al Sousa said. "They have so many players at an elite level and that makes a difference at this level."
A late shot by Osceola junior Skylar Stavrevski was blocked by Jesuit goalie Thomas Knight to preserve the shutout.