LUTZ — Steinbrenner struck gold again.
Senior Blake Wilson scored a golden goal in the first overtime, and Steinbrenner rallied from a two-goal deficit in the final nine minutes of regulation to defeat St. Petersburg 4-3 Thursday night in a Class 5A region quarterfinal thriller.
Steinbrenner (17-1-1), ranked fourth in the state by MaxPreps, will host East Lake on Tuesday.
Wilson connected for his second career golden goal in the 87th minute, his second score of the match.
“These boys don’t quit,” Steinbrenner coach Chad Ebright said. “We had that in the district final (Steinbrenner beat East Lake 2-1 on Wilson’s golden goal in the 89th minute), down a man and Blake Wilson comes through in overtime.”
Wilson’s winner came after Oswald Francis’ 30-yard blast in the first minute of overtime hit the crossbar for St. Petersburg (11-5).
“It should have been over then,” St. Petersburg coach Rui Farias said. “This is going to sound trite, but the better team lost. We completely outplayed (Steinbrenner).”
Ebright didn’t disagree.
"St. Pete controlled play,” he said. “When they got up 3-1, we made some moves to go a little more offensive — moving Blake Wilson out of center mid up top and Noah Keene out of center back to center mid. We were fortunate.”
Keene scored twice, tying the score at 3 on a header in the 78th minute.
Blake Bryant had two goals and Martin Gaganelov scored for the Green Devils.
On the winning goal, Mike Connell sent the ball to Tony Scaglione, who passed it to Wilson for his 15-yard shot from the right side that went under the arms of diving goalkeeper Jack McCoy.
“Being down 3-1, most teams would have thrown in the towel,” Wilson said. “What I really admire about our team is that we never gave up. Our biggest attribute is our heart, and we fight to the finish.”
East Lake 3, Sarasota Riverview 1: Bruno Scafidi scored twice Josh Page once for the visiting Eagles. The win sets up the season’s third game against Steinbrenner. The Eagles (15-2) lost the first two.
“Riverview was actually quite a very good team,’’ East Lake coach Alex Stenson said. “They controlled the middle well. But I think we were a bit stronger overall. They did get a goal on a PK, but overall, I think we played fairly well.’’
Stenson said injuries are starting to take a toll. He expects five to six regulars to be unavailable against Steinbrenner.