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District soccer: Tampa Prep upends top seed AHN in 2A-9 final

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Fri. January 17, 2014 | Matt Baker | Email

TAMPA — Tampa Prep captain Abby Bravo had a long talk with her coach two days ago.

Instead of running through the ball in Wednesday’s district semifinal, Bravo had pulled up in the box. She hit the crossbar, and the Terrapins barely held on for a win.

In a similar situation in Friday’s Class 2A, District 9 championship, Bravo didn’t make the same mistake again.

She kept charging toward the net late in the first half to knock in the pivotal first goal in the Terrapins’ 2-0 road win over top-seeded Academy of the Holy Names.

“We came out with a mission, and we took it to them,” Terrapins coach Cindy Schofield said.

Tampa Prep (10-8-1) avenged a 3-1 loss to the Jaguars (15-2) in November and will host a region quarterfinal Thursday after securing a fifth consecutive district title under Schofield.

The Terrapins dominated most of the game, recording almost as many shots in the first 10 minutes (five) as AHN had all game (six).

After Tampa Prep watched crosses fall short and a shot hit the crossbar, it finally jumped ahead thanks to Bravo.

Amanda Hill lobbed a pass to Bravo, who hit a Holy Names defender. But the ball trickled away, and Bravo knocked it in for the lead in the 33rd minute.

“I just kept running through the ball,” Bravo said.

And her team withstood a brief AHN rally to run away with its seventh shutout of the season.

The Jaguars had a flurry of scoring chances in the second half but were derailed with three offsides penalties, two empty corner kicks and three of Olivia Marshall’s four saves.

“They were a brick wall,” Schofield said of her defense.

Tampa Prep tallied 21 shots and never stopped attacking. Ingrid Van Hoek’s header off of a Darla Harrison assist with five minutes left secured the win.

Times staff writer Matt Baker can be reached at mbaker@tampabay.com or on Twitter @MattHomeTeam.

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