TAMPA — For nearly 100 minutes Tuesday night, Tampa Prep peppered the Academy of the Holy Names goal. Shots flew just wide. Other were snared by AHN keeper Kendall Catone. Some even banged off the woodwork.
“It was getting pretty frustrating,” Alexa Steele-Weintraub said.
But one clever move erased a night full of near misses as Steele-Weintraub connected on a penalty kick in the second overtime to send Tampa Prep into Friday’s 2A region final with a 1-0 win against the visiting Jaguars.
“We had them the entire game,” Tampa Prep coach Cindy Schofield said. “We had so many chances.”
But the one that will be remembered came in the 96th minute. The Terrapins’ (12-8-1) Darla Harrison played a through ball into the box that settled about halfway between Alexandra Daley and Catone. The two seemed destined to meet at the ball, but Daley deftly flicked it on to her right. Catone and Daley collided and a penalty kick was awarded.
“We knew in the back of our minds that we were going to eventually get one,” Daley said.
Steele-Weintraub then stepped up to the spot and buried a ball into the right side of the net, touching off a wild celebration inside the AHN (16-3) box.
“I almost always go left,” Steele-Weintraub said of her PK. “But I saw the keeper lean that way so I went right at the last second.”
Catone came up with a number of key saves to keep the match scoreless. She blocked a pair of point-blank shots from Haillie Lower in the first half, then stuffed Abby Bravo, who scored a pair of goals in Prep’s region quarterfinal win, on a breakaway in the 57th minute. Daley hit the crossbar in the 78th minute.
“(Catone) played an amazing game tonight,” Schofield said. “But there’s something about this team right now. Something special.”