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Girls region soccer: Two late goals propel Seminole past Plant City

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Fri. January 24, 2014 | Matt Baker | Email

PLANT CITY — Seminole faced its biggest kick of the season, and no one knew who should take it.

As Sarah Reinhold and Brianna Froncillo stood over a free kick with two minutes left in a tie game against Plant City, each asked the other if she wanted it. Coach Gary Kolb finally made the decision for them.

“I took it,” Froncillo said, “and it happened to sneak through.”

Froncillo’s goal capped a frantic final six minutes and pushed the Warhawks into the Class 4A region semifinals with a 3-2 win. The victory avenged last season’s playoff loss to the Raiders (18-3).

“We tried to hang with them the whole game,” Plant City coach Caleb Roberts said, “and we were six minutes short.”

The Warhawks (21-3-1) looked ready to run away with a win after Amanda Walker knocked in a first-half corner kick while the Raiders struggled to get a shot.

Plant City rallied in the second half, scoring on a breakaway by Stephanie Galloway and pulling ahead on a header by Jennifer Ruiz with six minutes left.

“We definitely had to restart and get back into our mojo,” Seminole’s Teagan Payne said.

Seminole got back into it with Payne, a secret-weapon freshman who played only six minutes but made one of the night’s biggest plays. She headed in a Froncillo corner kick with four minutes left to tie the game.

Two minutes later, a Plant City foul set up the pivotal free kick from far outside the box that led to the discussion between Reinhold and Froncillo. The Warhawks decided on their standout junior.

Froncillo rocketed a shot that scraped the top of the wall of defenders before settling into the back of the net.

“I don’t know how it managed to get through,” Froncillo said.”

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