LAND O’LAKES — Once Sunlake had its second goal, coach Sam Koleduk knew it was over.
The Seahawks shut out Nature Coast Tech 8-0 in a Class 3A region quarterfinal ended early by the mercy rule Thursday. The Seahawks face Citrus (18-3-1) in Tuesday’s region semifinal.
“We knew they were going to play physical and aggressive,” Koleduk said.
“We knew if we played our game, it would be fine.”
Remi Pimm, a sophomore and one of the North Suncoast’s top forwards, scored four goals to give him 59 for the season.
“I just did my normal thing,” Pimm said.
“I know if I miss to just come back … just keep shooting.”
The Seahawks (27-1-1) kept the Sharks occupied at midfield for the majority of the game. While NCT keeper Vito Tambasco saw the ball often — ending the game with 13 saves — Sunlake keeper Danny Hrenko spent most of his time outside of the goal area.
Cobi Shermo earned the first score in the 14th minute. His teammates had Tambasco occupied on the left side of the goal while he sneaked in from the right, toeing the ball past the line.
Shermo was a prominent piece in the Seahawks’ next goal, in the 37th minute. He headed the ball, but Tambasco swatted it out of the air. It landed at Pimm’s feet, and he knocked it in.
Pimm was granted a penalty kick in the opening minutes of the second half, bringing the Seahawks to 3-0.
Sunlake’s forwards surged to the goal area in the 52nd minute. One shot high, and Tambasco leapt and punched the ball out of the air. He fell, and while he was still on the ground, Pimm completed the hat trick, bringing the score to 4-0.
Just two minutes later, the Seahawks were back on NCT’s side. Connor Spencer kicked it high and far, and the ball sailed into the back corner of the net.
The Sharks swarmed Pimm when he rushed the goal in the 63rd minute, but they couldn’t stop him from edging it over the line. He earned his fourth goal of the game, and the Seahawks had their sixth.
Sunlake’s comfortable lead didn’t make it want to let up. The field made its way back to NCT’s goal in the 72nd minute, and Spencer scored again.
The game ended with 6:41 remaining when Colin Armstrong sneaked the ball past NCT’s defenders for a final time, bringing the final score to 8-0.
Citrus 4, Land O’Lakes 3: The host Hurricanes scored two goals within a minute during the final eight minutes to rally. Land O’Lakes coach Mark Pearson said his team played a poor defensive game throughout.
The Gators (13-8-1) had more than 20 shots while the Hurricanes capitalized on just eight. Glenn Johnson had a hat trick for the Gators.
Land O’Lakes trailed 2-1 at the beginning of the second half. A header by Johnson pulled the Gators into a tie, and he quickly scored again to give them the lead, 3-2.