ST. PETERSBURG — Shorecrest normally doesn’t have trouble generating offense.
But through the first 60 minutes of Thursday’s Class 2A, District 10 semifinal, Out-of-Door goalkeeper Sammi Jo Gaeta stymied the Chargers. Shorecrest broke through late in the second half to hold on for a 2-1 victory.
“(Gaeta) did a good job of cutting off crosses and securing the ball,” Chargers coach Neal Wolfrath said. “She kept them in the game.”
ODA scored first in the 20th minute. Rachel Cannon fired a shot that was saved by Shorecrest keeper Taylor Wolf. But Cannon and Wolf collided, and Alyssa Mason put away the rebound.
The Chargers continued to pepper the goal but were unable to penetrate the Thunder defense.
“They took the lead and went into a shell,” Wolfrath said. “They always had four or five people in the back.”
Shorecrest got the equalizer in the 65th minute. Jenn Casey took the ball down the right sideline and delivered a perfect cross that Skyler Ellenburg got past the goalie.
“We changed where (Casey) was playing and found some spots,” Wolfrath said. “We went to a 3-4-3 and she was playing the right wing.”
The Chargers got the winning goal four minutes later after Casey was taken down in the penalty box. Serena Hutchinson scored on the penalty kick.
“We knew if we kept dictating the tempo that the goals would come,” Wolfrath said. “We were confident in our game plan but had to capitalize on the chances.”
In the other semifinal, St. Stephen’s defeated Cambridge 4-0.