CLEARWATER — Clearwater Central Catholic had its chances in the first 20 minutes, but missed them all.
American Heritage had its chance the next 20, and didn’t.
End result: the Stallions from Delray Beach advanced to their ninth consecutive state championship game, beating the Marauders 2-0 Friday in a Class 2A state semifinal at CCC.
The two-time defending state champion, which has won four state titles since 2004, weathered an early storm and CCC didn’t recover.
“We had some good opportunities in that first 20 minutes,” said coach Tom Typrowicz. “It would have been nice to get two goals there, just to see how they would have reacted.”
The Stallions (26-2-1) did react to the early CCC pressure, answering by dominating the last 20 minutes and scoring twice in a five-minute span to snap CCC’s 10-game winning streak and end the Marauders’ bid for their first state final appearance since 2008.
Sidney Parodie scored the first goal in the 31st minute, collecting a corner kick amid a cluster in front of the net and nudging a shot past keeper Carolina Larach, who fell on the ball a split second after it rolled across the line.
Five minutes later, Parodie made a brilliant move down the right side, stutter-stepping then blowing past two defenders before centering the ball to Tatiana Penagos for a 2-0 lead.
CCC’s Kaitlin Parker, the county’s leading scorer with 37 goals, nearly answered two minutes later, striking a shot off the inside of the far post.
That was the closest the Marauders (18-5-2) would come to scoring, despite a furious effort in the final 10 minutes.