David Jalomo, Plant City
Jalomo, a junior, said he has been playing goalkeeper since he was about 8 years old. When it came to penalty kicks, he never had much luck. Actually, he had no luck at all.
"It hasn't gone too well," he said. "I've never won one."
In the biggest game of the season, the Class 5A state championship against Miami Beach in DeLand on Saturday, it came down to penalty kicks with the score tied at 1. Miami Beach scored on its first two kicks, and so did Plant City.
Jalomo then made three straight diving saves. While his teammates missed their next two, Ricardo Rosales made his shot in the fifth round to give the Raiders their first state title in boys soccer.
"Never done that before," Jalomo said of his three saves. "There were a lot of emotions when we made that last kick. I was just really happy."
His teammates were as well. Jalomo was mobbed in the celebration.
His contributions were more than just the penalty kicks. He made two saves in regulation and was also key in the Raiders' only goal. With two and a half minutes left, Jalomo took a long free kick from his side of midfield and sent the ball into the box. After a few bounces, Paulino Ramirez got his head on the ball and found the net.
The only goal scored against Jalomo came late in the first half. He did not give up a goal in the final 68 minutes, including the two 10-minute overtimes.
"It feels great to be able to win this for our school and for Plant City," Jalomo said.
Diana Rosenthal, Lakewood
The Spartans advanced to the Class 6A state semifinals in Lakeland for the second straight season. And for a second straight year, Rosenthal is a big reason why.
She scored a game-high 24 points in Friday's region final at Robinson to help the Spartans win 83-52. She was particularly good in the full-court press. She had eight steals and was able to get most of her points on layups.
"It's probably one of my better games, I'd say," Rosenthal said.
A junior who transferred from Pinellas Park two years ago, Rosenthal has been a big boost to an offense that was already pretty explosive. She is a good complement to senior guard Paris Williams and junior shooter Nykisha Macon.
Rosenthal averages 15 points and seven rebounds.
"I'll ride it out with her," Lakewood head coach Necole Tunsil said. "She's been playing like that since December. And she's still got to get her shot down and she'll be even better."
Although there isn't much depth in the nine-player lineup, Rosenthal said she likes the Spartans' full-court attack. With the state tournament beginning Wednesday, she believes her team's frenzied attack may be the key to winning the school's first girls basketball title since 2011.
"We work so hard at it," Rosenthal said. "It looks really good right now. I think we're ready for states."