TAMPA — The futbol purist in Jesuit coach Bob Bauman is easily repulsed by penalty kick rounds, even when his season hinges on them.
By the time Tigers senior Chris Conlon sent the 10th and final PK of the Class 3A region final into the back of Immokalee’s net Tuesday night, Bauman had lost track.
The delirium of the Tigers players did the math for him.
Conlon’s shot clinched a 1-1 (3-2 PKs) victory, atoning for a stream of missed opportunities in regulation and an eerily similar defeat in last year’s playoffs. Jesuit fell to Lakewood Ranch in the 2011 postseason despite two saves in the PK round by keeper Patrick Danner.
“It’s disappointing for penalty kicks (to determine the outcome), but the seniors took charge and said, ‘We’re going to win this,’ ” said Bauman, whose team (20-3-1) hosts Plantation American Heritage in Friday’s state semifinals.
“This is redemption for this group of seniors this year that had a tough PK loss as juniors.”
Indeed, all three of Jesuit’s successful PKs were converted by upperclassmen: Conlon, Alex Moore and Jake Iurato. Another senior, Brett Durrance, had the goal in regulation, scoring just inside the box on a Conlon assist in the 20th minute.
Five minutes later, Indians junior Eduardo Soto scored on a rebound shot from 5 yards. The Tigers controlled possession from there — finishing with 19 shots on goal to Immokalee’s seven — but couldn’t put away their chances.
The most tantalizing one, a Durrance breakaway shot when he out-raced two defenders, was blocked by keeper Jose Guzman.
“We weren’t at the same level we were Friday night (a 2-1 overtime victory against Palmetto),” Bauman said. “It was a little bit disappointing but after training (Monday), that was my big worry coming in, that we weren’t quite at the same pace as Friday.”