TAMPA — In scouting Class 3A region quarterfinal opponent Tarpon Springs, Robinson coach Billy Helms noticed the Spongers tended to start games slowly.
So Helms’ pregame message to his team was simple: shoot early and often.
Robinson responded by scoring in the fourth minute, and the Knights continued piling on goals throughout in a 7-0 blanking of Tarpon Springs (8-8-1).
Robinson’s early goal came through a bit of luck. After solid buildup, junior Sam Ishee received the ball on the right edge of goal, 8 yards away. Ishee mishit her shot straight up into the air, but the ball spun over Spongers’ goalie Alyssa Mastracchio (three saves) and into goal.
“It just kept spinning and spinning and went in the back of the net,” Ishee said. “I was so excited.”
In the 32nd minute, Amanda Chromiak dribbled the ball down the right wing on a breakaway and slipped a shot under Mastracchio to put the Knights up 2-0. Two minutes later, the Knights (14-5) fired several shots at the Tarpon Springs goal, two of which were saved off the line by Spongers’ defenders, before Chromiak again found the back of the net with a rebound shot.
“Third goal, they were done,” Chromiak said. “We knew we had them at that point.”
Right after halftime, the Knights’ Megan Bohan stole a pass near midfield and blasted a shot from the edge of the 18 for a four-goal advantage.
“We certainly capitalized on (starting early) in the first half and then 30 seconds into the second half,” Helms said.
In the 44th minute, Bohan scored off a corner kick, fighting through a scrum in the box to slide a shot into goal.
“We worked on a lot of corner kicks this week,” Helms said. “Just put it in the mixer, see what pops in, and we just had a player put a foot on that ball.”
Ishee became the third Robinson player with two goals with her score in the 47th minute. Sara Jennewein got on the score sheet in the 60th minute. Laura Osorio had three assists for the Knights.