PALM HARBOR — With Thursday's 3-1 Class 5A win over St. Petersburg, Palm Harbor University took a step toward shaking a region roadblock.
The Hurricanes have lost to East Lake in the region semifinals the past two seasons. This time they'll face Bradenton Manatee.
“We’ve been finishing really well,” PHU’s Katie Im said.
Im nearly scored in the first minute then assisted on Alexis Mouton’s goal in the second.
The Hurricanes sent 15 shots on goal to the Green Devils’ three. But St. Petersburg almost tied it when forward Shaura Washington dribbled in one-on-one with keeper Rachel Taylor before pushing a shot wide.
In the second half, Kayla Mouton found sister Alexis to make it 2-0. The Green Devils hung around and got Washington’s penalty kick to make it 2-1.
But with 24 minutes left, Im got free on the left side, beat a defender and lobbed a shot over keeper Theresa Kuduk’s head. It was Im’s first goal since reconstructive knee surgery.
“I think mentally, it was harder (coming back from the knee injury),” Im said. “We’ve got a great team, and we’re getting confident.”