INVERNESS — Sunlake continued its quest toward a state championship with a decisive 7-1 victory on the road at Citrus in a Class 3A region semifinal Tuesday night. Sophomore Remi Pimm broke the Pasco County goal-scoring record for a single season (63), as he tallied four goals on the night to accomplish the feat.
“Personally, I want my name to be remembered,” Pimm said. “Hard work and dedication paid off tonight. Our goal as a team is to win the state championship, and we can do it if we can avoid being overconfident and keep our hearts in it and stay focused.”
The Seahawks (28-1-1) broke the game wide open in the second half, starting with junior forward Cobi Shermo’s goal in the 49th minute. Pimm scored his second goal a couple minutes later with a blast past the Citrus keeper from 5 yards out.
Junior forward Connor Spencer made it 4-1, as he fired an impressive and difficult shot falling down past the goalkeeper from 15 yards away.
Junior midfielder Chris Wilkinson got into the offensive act, scoring on a beautiful cross feed from Pimm to make it 5-1. It was only fitting that Pimm capped the scoring with two more goals.
The one main negative for Sunlake — the 46th ranked team in the nation — was its inability to convert on other great socring chances.
The Seahawks had 14 good looks on goal that they didn’t take advantage of during the course of the game.
But it was the six in the first half that could have cost the Seahawks, as Citrus (19-4-1) was able to hold its ground. The ’Canes’ Josh Marsden scored on a penalty kick to knot the score at one each. Sunlake’s missed when it got a penalty kick in the stoppage time, but Pimm was stoned by sprawling Citrus goalie Dakota Gruzdas to send the game into intermission tied.
“The second half was awesome,” Sunlake coach Sam Koleduk said. “I told the kids at halftime to keep playing like the way were playing. We do need to score the first goal quicker because it could hurt us against a more high-caliber team, and hats off to Coach Ekeli for doing a good job with Citrus this season.”