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SEMINOLE — Osceola came into Friday’s 3A state semifinal match with Plantation American Heritage booming with confidence. The Warriors started fast, pressing for the first five minutes, but that’s all they would muster.
The Patriots scored in the fifth and seventh minutes, breaking the Warriors’ spirit. Osceola’s playoff run ended with a 6-0 loss.
Osceola (18-4-0) standouts Alexis Irwin and Cassidy Reich were targeted by Heritage’s relentless defense, with neither player getting many opportunities at an open look.
Heritage (30-1-1), ranked No. 1 in Florida by MaxPreps, shot the ball 25 times and took advantage of Osceola’s passing mistakes.
“They didn’t play our game tonight and there was a little bit of panic,” Osceola coach Anatol Popovich said. “They did settle down a little bit, but by that time it was too late.”
The Patriots struck quickly, getting two goals from freshman Melanie Monteagudo. Heritage used a 1-2 touch style to penetrate Osceola’s defense and kept the offensive possession for the majority of the match.
“(Heritage) is very good, obviously, and I think our girls were a little nervous,” Popovich said. “When you get to this level, you expect to go up against good teams.
“My girls worked hard and they should be proud that they had a great season.”