LAND O’LAKES — Land O’Lakes rallied from a halftime deficit for the first time all season in a 5-2 win over Wesley Chapel in Wednesday’s Class 3A, District 7 semifinal.
Sunlake dominated Pasco 5-0 in the other semifinal, setting up Friday night’s championship game at 7.
The Gators have won seven consecutive district titles.
Trailing 2-1, Land O’Lakes got goals four minutes apart to swing momentum in its favor. In the 55th minute, Pat Lawson crossed the ball from the left side to Josh Davis, who beat Wesley Chapel goalkeeper Christian Monahan to the right side for his 24th goal. The go-ahead score came in the 59th minute with Frankie Pinciotti drilling a low kick into the net from 25 yards.
“Obviously it was a big lift,” Gators coach Mark Pearson said of the two goals. “Motivationally, it got us up and going.”
Nathan Dalton and Andrew Garcia added late goals for Land O’Lakes, which in the first half took a 1-0 lead on a Sean Young header.
Wesley Chapel countered that score with two first-half goals to lead by one at halftime. David Santacruz intercepted an errant pass out front and kicked the ball in off a Land O’Lakes defender. In the 26th minute, moments after missing wide left on a partial breakaway, Morgan Shepherd broke in alone again and kicked the ball over sprawling goalkeeper Mitchell McCuen for his county-leading 32nd goal.
In the first game, Sunlake broke open a close contest with four goals in the second half. Connor Gilboy scored his 25th goal and Colin Armstrong had two goals to lead the Seahawks, who also got goals from Terry St. Onge and Calvin Restrepo.
“Before the game they looked flat and I wanted to get our guys fired up,” Sunlake coach Sam Koleduk said. “I think after the second goal they really fell apart.”