DADE CITY — It’s not often a goalkeeper on a losing team steals the limelight, but that’s what happened in Wednesday morning’s makeup boys soccer game when Mitchell’s Brian Hoxie shined in Pasco’s 2-0 win.
The victory extended the Pirates’ unbeaten streak (13-0) and clinched the top seed for the Class 4A, District 7 tournament.
Meanwhile, the defending state champion Mustangs (9-8-1), who lost 17 players from last year’s squad, are locked in a three-way battle for the third seed with Gulf, Hudson and Anclote.
Hoxie, a junior who did not see much playing time on last season’s state championship team, made 12 saves. Many of those came in spectacular fashion with Hoxie stoning Eric Garcia and Jose Flores on a couple of close-range scoring bids.
“It’s a good thing he was in goal for them and (Mitchell coach Oscar Ubillus) knows it, that’s all I can say,” Pasco coach Barry Grayling said.
“He saves us a lot,” Ubillus said of Moxie.
Moxie’s lone miscue came when he mishandled a corner kick from Orlando Alcocer that dribbled into the net midway through the first half.
Moxie kept the Mustangs in it in the second half by stopping Garcia, Flores, Daniel Corona and Dillon Dunbar. The keeper also got a little help from the post and crossbar. Garcia came flying in from the left side and drilled a low shot off the right post before Flores grazed the crossbar with a rising shot from the top of the penalty box.
“He’s a decent keeper; probably the best we’ve seen all season,” Garcia said.
With time running out, Dunbar got an insurance goal in the 77th minute. The junior midfielder sneaked behind a defender for a back door header that banked in off the far post.