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Mon. November 18, 2013 | Derek J. LaRiviere

BROOKSVILLE — Nature Coast and Springstead were the elite programs in Hernando County last season, and following an undefeated start for both squads through six matches, the same seemed true this year.

The  teams were locked in a tough one at the Shark Tank on Monday night until halftime, and then Nature Coast took advantage of some sloppy play to win 7-2.

Springstead (6-1-1) came out fighting in a downpour, going back and forth with Nature Coast (7-0-1) through the first 30 minutes. The Eagles got goals from Haleigh McDuff, her seventh of the season, and Selina Bravo.

“We came out looking to mix up the attack,” Nature Coast coach Lisa Masserio said, and that really opened up some opportunities for us.”

While Jayna Tyler led the Sharks with three goals and an assist, six other girls chipped in with a goal or an assist including  Hailey LaLande (one goal, one assist), Alexa Lacy (one assist), Kendal Worden (one assist), Chelsea Reid (one goal), Lisa Soehngen (one goal, one assist) and Brittney Bowman (one goal).

Springstead’s Jenna Booth, in her first year in net taking over for graduated Emma Betters, struggled in the wet conditions. Meanwhile, Sharks keeper Samantha Oliveira was able to lock down the Eagles as the game wore on to keep Nature Coast undefeated.

“The rain factored in a little bit,” Springstead coach Scott Wern said, “but we just didn’t come to play tonight.”

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