Girls region soccer: Osceola sets up another match with rival

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Fri. January 24, 2014 | Bob Putnam | Email

Girls region soccer: Osceola sets up another match with rival

SEMINOLE — Osceola, which made the Class 3A state semifinals the past two seasons, has moved up to 4A. It did not prove to be much of a deterrent in last week’s district tournament, where the Warriors knocked off top-seeded Seminole for the title.

A week later, the Warriors had to guard against complacency and looking ahead to a rematch when they faced East Bay. But after a slow start, the hosts bore down and finished their chances for a 3-0 victory.

“Here we go with another battle against Seminole,” Osceola coach Anatol Popovich said. “But we had to get past a very good East Bay team to do that.”

The Indians relied on an aggressive defense to limit chances in the first half. But in the final minute of the first half, Gabby Holcombe scored what turned out to be the winner.

“We applied pressure, but we weren’t finishing our chances,” Popovich said. “East Bay really bunkered down defensively. Still, I figured we were in good shape because we played a controlled game and did open things up in the second half.”

Sam Pifer added to the lead midway through the second half with goal into an open net.

“It was hard at the start of the game,” Pifer said. “But we were able to settle down. And once we got those first few goals, it gave us the cushion we needed.”

Courtney Smith rounded out the scoring off an assist by Pifer.

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