District soccer: Newsome 4, Riverview 1
PLANT CITY — Okay, that’s more like it.
Two days after a seriously sloppy scare in the Class 5A, District 6 semifinal, Newsome’s girls soccer team came out for Friday’s final and again played like a state-title contender.
The final score — Newsome 4, Riverview 1 — could have actually been more lopsided if not for several near misses and numerous great saves by Riverview goal keeper Summer Simpson.
“I feel much better now,” said Newsome coach Kelly Townsend, referring to how concerned she felt after Wednesday’s 3-2 shaky victory over Durant that wasn’t sealed with a goal until the 78th minute. “I feel good about moving forward (into next week’s region playoffs).”
Senior captain Addison Ura said she felt like Wednesday’s poorly-played semifinal, “Woke us up. It made us realize that we need to keep that focus and determination. I think we’ll be better from now on.”
On Friday, Newsome (18-0-3) never blinked, not even when Riverview (9-6-1) scored the first goal in the 14th minute.
“We remained calm,” Townsend said. “We never got nervous.”
The Wolves also got a surge of confidence in the 16th minute when sophomore Sophie Shrader turned on a ball and smoked into the net’s right side to tie it 1-1.
From that point, Newsome pretty much dominated, firing numerous shots while Riverview had only one legitimate shot the rest of the night.
Riverview, however, held onto the tie until the 61st minute when Newsome senior Lauren Evans, a University of Florida commit, took a cross from Jenna Oldham and buried the go-ahead goal.
Seven minutes later, Evans took a pass from Emma Milligan and chipped in another goal to make it 3-1. In the 74th minute, Ura put the nail in the victory with a simple tap-in following a Riverview defensive breakdown.
“I think we definitely have our focus back,” Evans said. “We were together tonight.”
Ultimately, the Wolves’ goal is to win the school’s first state girls soccer title, a notion that has stuck prominently in their minds after losing 1-0 in last year’s state semifinal.
“I think this group can do it,” Townsend said. “They just might have what it takes.”