BROOKSVILLE — Hudson and Springstead split their two matches during the regular season, but watching Wednesday’s Class 3A, District 7 semifinal, that was far from evident.
Led by star forward Dominique Cirnigliaro, the Cobras (20-4-1) dominated the Eagles (13-5-2) in a 4-1 victory to clinch a playoff berth and advance to Friday’s district final. Nature Coast beat Fivay 4-0 in the other semifinal to set up the 7 p.m. matchup.
“We have a lot of respect for Springstead,” Hudson coach Stephen Jones said. “They are very technically skilled and tactically sound. It comes down to the 50-50 balls.”
Cirnigliaro, a West Florida commitment, scored three goals. as Hudson outshot Springstead by a wide margin. Eagles keeper Jenna Booth had 15 saves.
“After the other teams score, it just gives me more heart to go back out and score again,” Cirnigliaro said. “I have a big shot, so there are times when (the opponents) don’t see it coming.”
In the second semifinal, Nature Coast (18-3-1) dominated Fivay (16-6-2).
“From my perspective, the girls were really focused on what kind of goals they set for themselves this season,” Nature Coast coach Lisa Masserio said. “They were really fired up for a chance at a second straight district title.”
The Sharks had split the season series with the Falcons, but Samantha Oliveira made six saves in her 12th shutout this season. As has been the case for much of the season, Nature Coast’s scoring came from all over the field, but it was Hailey LaLande scoring her team-leading 23rd goal to give the Sharks a 1-0 halftime advantage.