ST. PETERSBURG — The memory of last year’s Class A region final, penalty-kick loss to Lakeland Christian has motivated Shorecrest all season. After Tuesday night’s 2-0 win over Calvary Christian, the Chargers earned a second straight trip to the region final and have a chance to erase a bad memory. Shorecrest (18-2) will host Community School of Naples on Friday.
“Last year’s loss has motivated them since the first game,” Shorecrest coach Neal Wolfrath said. “Of course, we had to win this game first. Now the region final is next on the agenda. And these girls want to go even further.”
This was the fourth meeting between Shorecrest and Calvary Christian, which are both in District 6. In three previous matches, the Chargers outscored the Warriors 18-0.
But the fourth game was close throughout. Calvary Christian (14-6) had some early scoring chances but couldn’t convert. In the 14th minute, the Chargers found the net.
Demi Tellios broke free on the right side of the field and crossed into the goal box. Jade Caswell was open and deflected the ball into the goal for a 1-0 lead. It could have been 2-0 just before the half but Skyler Ellenburg missed a penalty kick with 2:30 remaining.
Ellenburg made up for that miss in the second half when she blasted a shot from 25 yards out that sailed into the upper half of the goal with 31 minutes remaining to make it 2-0.
Calvary Christian had a near miss in the second half. Hannah Brookover took a shot from 20 yards out that looked like it would find an open goal. But the shot hit teammate Serena Szarejko and went wide.
“I think what it came down to was that it’s hard to beat a team four times,” Wolfrath said. “(Calvary) clearly has gotten better each game and made the adjustments. This game was every bit as close as the 2-0 score sounds.”