District soccer: Carrollwood Day 3, Seffner Christian 2
TAMPA - Carrollwood Day coach Donna Holyman needed few words to describe the demeanor of Katie Flinter.
Flinter's play spoke volumes Friday night, scoring what proved to be her first game-winning goal as Carrollwood Day held on for a 3-2 victory against Seffner Christian for the Class A, District 5 championship.
Carrollwood Day (16-2-1), which lost to Seffner Christian (11-11-2) in last year's district finale by a 4-1 score, defeated the Crusaders for the third time this season.
"Seffner never gives up,'' Holyman said. "Until that (final) whistle blew, I was not comfortable. The girls did a great job of staying composed, and getting the ball where it needed to be.''
Flinter, an eighth-grader, scored her second goal of the season - Carrollwood's only score of the second half. It was the difference in a game in which Seffner Christian applied serious pressure in the final eight minutes. The Crusaders pulled within 3-2 on a Tristan Puleo free kick, and Puleo had three corner kicks down the stretch. Her second one almost tied the score when Taylor McKeehan's point-blank header in front of the net was stopped by Carrollwood Day goalkeeper Shaniya Johnston.
Flinter's goal came in the 48th minute when Seffner Christian left her alone.
"(Sydney Pelaez) threw (the ball) into me, and no one was marking me,'' Flinter said. "I was dribbling it along the endline, came up to (Seffner Christian goalkeeper Hayleigh Blaszyk), and passed it between her and the post.''
Carrollwood Day's Katrina Lenis and Michelle Tierney of Seffner Christian traded goals within three minutes midway throughout the first half before the Patriots took the lead for good. In the 24th minute, Emma Architetto outhustled a defender to a long pass and scored on a 15-yard blast.
"We had a little chip on our shoulder going into the game,'' Holyman said. "We wanted to win the district championship back.''