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ST. PETERSBURG — Mainly a defender, St. Petersburg Catholic’s Zac Giparas rarely finds himself in the position to score.
With the ball at the 18 and no one between him and Shorecrest goalkeeper Ahmed Dajani on Thursday, Giparas knew exactly what to do with the ball.
Giparas sliced a shot to the near post in the game’s 51st minute, beating a diving Dajani, for the game’s only goal in St. Petersburg Catholic’s 1-0 victory.
The goal was the first in varsity action for the senior.
“It was a big goal for me,” he said.
After a scoreless opening half, SPC (1-1) attacked Shorecrest’s goal, keeping steady pressure on Dajani with wave after wave of scoring opportunities.
The Barons were rewarded when Lukasz Czerwin crossed to a wide-open Giparas just outside the box, and Giparas’ shot was true.
“Me and Miles (Collins) were kind of in the center. Lukasz crossed it, and I called Miles to let it go,” Giparas said. “He played a perfect dummy that pulled two guys away, and that left me open.”
The Barons held Shorecrest (0-1) in check in the season opener for the Chargers. Shorecrest managed just four shots and rarely tested Barons goalkeeper Michael Marinari (four saves) until the final 10 minutes, when the Chargers scrambled to equalize.
“(SPC) played well,” Shorecrest coach Jeff Diedrich said. “Their energy level was much greater than ours, and they won every 50-50 ball.”
For SPC, the win erased a puzzling performance in the season opener at Lakewood Ranch when the Barons played well for 65 minutes but let in three goals in a 15-minute stretch to fall 3-0.
“We passed the ball and moved the ball well tonight,” SPC coach Will Summer said. “We finally put the whole game together. I don’t know that we’ve played a complete game in a while, and that goes back to even last year.”
Northeast 1, St. Petersburg 0
Northeast’s Kyle Apperson scored the winner late in the second half to send the Vikings (3-0) to victory.
“Both teams played well. It was actually a pretty good game,” St. Petersburg coach Rui Farias said. “They just capitalized on a good opportunity and we couldn’t.”
St. Petersburg drops to 1-2-1.
St. Petersburg 8, Northeast 0
St. Petersburg’s Nastassja Saitta and Niki Carter each scored two goals apiece in the Green Devils’ rout.
Alyssa Deson, Sarah Wilkins and Cassie VanBuskirk also scored for St. Petersburg (3-0-1), which benefited from a Northeast own goal.
Goalkeepers Allie Clay and Emilie VanNeste combined for the shutout. Each had one save.
The loss was the first of the season for Northeast (3-1).
Northside Christian 3, Calvary Christian 0
Behind a pair of goals from senior Stephanie Bonalewicz, Northside Christian shut out Calvary Christian on the road.
Sara Massengill also scored for Northside (2-1).
Northside senior goalkeeper Casey Germain made seven saves to keep Calvary (0-5) off the scoreboard.
Largo 48, Dunedin 42
Largo’s Uniqueika Walker scored a team-high 17 to lead the Packers to a narrow victory over Dunedin.
Brandi Feazell (16 points) and Kendra Brown (12) also scored in double figures for Largo (2-0).
The Packers held Dunedin to just two points in the second quarter to take a 27-15 advantage into halftime. The Falcons (0-2) cut that lead to two in the third quarter but ran out of gas in the fourth.
“We just got tired at the end,” Dunedin coach Amy Drexler said.
Northside Christian 56, Canterbury 27
Paced by Kayla Walton’s game-high 24 points, Northside Christian routed Canterbury at home in the Mustangs’ opener.
Rachel Boyette contributed 14 points for Northside, which allowed only seven first-half points to build a 27-7 halftime advantage.
Canterbury’s leading scorer was Kelsey Hill, who nearly earned a double double after snagging nine rebounds.
The Crusaders are 0-2.