Region soccer: Bloomingdale 2, Countryside 1
LITHIA — In the 76th minute with the score tied, the ball rolled to the top of the box off a corner kick and Bloomingdale sophomore Alyssa Conarton suddenly found great opportunity waiting at her feet.
She turned and swung her right foot through the ball, and then watched it fly toward the left post and Countryside’s diving keeper.
“I hit it good but I knew it was going to be close,” Conarton said. “I wasn’t sure if it would slip in.”
Bloomingdale (13-1-1) jumped for joy and then hung tough in the last few minutes for a 2-1 Class 4A region quarterfinal victory against a relentless squad from Countryside, which ended its season 10-4-1.
“We knew we couldn’t have any letdowns because we knew Countryside was never going to let up,” Bloomingdale coach Heather Iverson said. “We are battled tested and I think we showed tonight we are ready for this.”
Bloomingdale made an early statement in the third minute when sophomore Jordan Stack took a pass from 25 yards out and drilled a shot toward the goal’s crossbar.
As with Conarton’s winner, the ball barely slipped by the bar and the fingers of the Countryside keeper.
But it was good.
From there, Bloomingdale barely missed on a couple of shots and Countryside steadily applied more and more pressure.
At the 63rd minute of the second half, Countryside answered with a breakaway goal down the right side, but Bloomingdale never blinked.
“We talked at halftime about how Countryside was going to come even stronger because they were down 1-0,” Iverson said. “We didn’t get down after it was tied. We came right back.”
Bloomingdale moves on to play in Tuesday’s region semifinal at St. Petersburg.