FORT MYERS — Seeking a return trip to the final four for the sixth time in the past seven seasons, Tampa Prep pushed host Bishop Verot to overtime in Friday’s Class 2A region final.
Five minutes into the extra session, the Terrapins defense, which had been solid in blanking the Vikings for two halves, finally gave way.
A brief hesitation on a through ball allowed Bishop Verot senior Kelly Reynolds a glimpse of daylight and she delivered, lofting a shot from 20 yards over onrushing Tampa Prep goalkeeper Olivia Marshall for the decisive golden goal in a 1-0 Vikings victory.
“They’re a very good side,” Bishop Verot coach Randy Zavada said. “Anytime you play a team from Tampa, you know that’s what you’re going to get.
“But I thought we had some chances early we didn’t capitalize on. I told our girls at halftime I thought we should have been up 3-0.”
Instead, the Vikings had nothing to show for a bevy of first-half scoring opportunities thanks to Marshall, who came up with a pair of brilliant diving stops to keep Bishop Verot (20-3-3) off the scoreboard.
The Terrapins (12-9-1) started to get their offensive game going in the second half, and senior Darla Harrison had a pair of quality chances in the final 10 minutes of regulation. On the first, Verot defender Kerry Waldron was able to deflect a Harrison blast from 15 yards out. Four minutes later, in the 75th minute, Harrison rolled a shot just outside the far right post.