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TAMPA — The worst enemy an experienced team can face in the postseason is the fear of the ultimate end.
And this postseason hasn’t been fair to favorites. Tampa Prep has four seniors who played on a state title team as freshmen, and the Terps have seen some of their friends’ seasons end prematurely. Several teams that figured to have promising postseason runs — Clearwater Central Catholic, Berkeley Prep, Plant — saw their seasons fall flat in districts.
And in Thursday’s Class 2A region quarterfinals, the Terps survived a minor scare of their own, needing a goal in the 55th minute to beat Shorecrest Prep 1-0. Tampa Prep beat the Chargers 8-0 in the regular season.
The Terps (17-5-2) dominated possession and outshot the Chargers 17-2. But Tampa Prep didn’t take the lead until junior Colby Maffei rocketed a shot from the right side that went inside the top corner of the far post. It was the LSU commit’s 40th goal of the season.
“We played good soccer tonight, but it’s mental for them,” Tampa Prep coach Cindy Schofield said. “It’s coming with that swagger. We have nerves. They’re all like, 'Oh my gosh, this could be our last game.’ They see it in the paper. They’ve seen all the upsets that have gone on this year, and that’s gotten into their heads. ”
Four minutes before Maffei’s goal, Shorecrest’s Caitlin Allweiss had the best scoring opportunity, a powerful shot from the right side at keeper Mackenzie Logan.
For most of the night, Shorecrest kept Maffei in check by man marking her. Goalkeeper Taylor Wolf made 14 saves for the Chargers (14-8).
“I’m not surprised at all that it was this different a game,” Shorecrest coach Neal Wolfrath said. “ …We had a game plan we wanted to put in, and it was just one lucky turn in the box. ”