TARPON SPRINGS — For much of Monday night’s girls match against Seminole, things just didn’t seem right for East Lake. First, the game was delayed 55 minutes because the Warhawks’ bus was late picking them up.
Then, midway through the first half came a cheap goal when Elizabeth Bronk’s kick from 30 yards out ticked off East Lake defender Amber Deschene’s head and into the goal. But after a halftime pep talk, the Eagles put it all together.
Kristy Legoas’ goal with 10 minutes left tied the game, and with three minutes remaining Amanda Byrne buried the winning goal to give the Eagles a 2-1 victory. It was the first time in three years East Lake (5-1-2) has beaten the Warhawks (5-3-2).
“We talked at halftime about intensity and how much it would mean to our team to win this game,” Byrne said. “We stepped up to the challenge.”
For much of the game it looked like East Lake would have to live with a 1-0 loss on an own goal. But Legoas got Deschene off the hook when she launched a shot from 35 yards out that sailed just under the crossbar to make it 1-1.
Seminole had a few chances in the minutes that followed, but it was the Eagles who found the net. Legoas took a corner kick that was cleared just outside the penalty box. Byrne was waiting for the deflection and cranked a left-footer from 20 yards that found the upper right corner.
“I just hung out at the top of the box and I knew it was going to come out,” Byrne said. “As soon as I hit it I knew it was going in. I just stopped and watched it. It was incredible.”
Seminole won the boys game 4-1 for its sixth straight victory, thanks to three second-half goals. Tarik Salkicic was the Warhawks’ main threat, with two goals and an assist. Garrett Bocon and Yann Cerf added goals late in the second half to allow Seminole (7-1) to pull away.
Salkicic got the scoring started with 12 minutes left in the first half when he blasted a direct kick into the left corner from just outside the 18-yard box. But with two minutes remaining in the half, East Lake (1-5) tied the score when Stephen Wankat settled a loose ball in the box and knocked in a left-footer while falling down.
The second half was all Warhawks. Bocon scored on a perfect assist from Salkicic to make it 2-1 just five minutes into the half. Salkicic then nailed a penalty kick to make it 3-1, and with nine minutes left Cerf scored from 10 yards out.