CLEARWATER — A pair of Pinellas win streaks were on the line Friday at the Senior Soccer All-Star Challenge at Countryside High School. One came to an end, while another was extended.
The Hillsborough girls snapped a three-year losing streak to Pinellas with a 3-1 win in the night’s first game. The Pinellas boys salvaged a shootout win to extend their streak to five straight over Hillsborough with a 4-2 edge in the shootout round.
In the girls game, Hillsborough scored twice in the first half and hung on in the second. Newsome’s Jackie Simpson and Elizabeth Haumschild scored and Tampa Prep’s Colby Maffei added another goal in the win.
“They beat us three times before so we were ready to win,” said Simpson, the game’s most valuable player. “We wanted to prove that Hillsborough could beat Pinellas.”
Simpson got the scoring started early in the first half when she headed in a corner kick by Caroline Evers. Simpson and Evers are teammates at Newsome and have been playing together since fifth grade.
“Caroline always sends those balls in so perfectly,” Simpson said. “I just ran in as hard as I could and got a head on it. I actually snapped my head and made it go down.”
Hillsborough scored on another header with just more than three minutes left in the half. Cici Gonzalez of Steinbrenner launched a perfect cross from the right corner. Maffei leapt over defenders and headed the ball just under the crossbar to make it 2-0.
Pinellas made it interesting in the second half when East Lake’s Meghan Dodge was left alone from about 20 yards out. After hesitating, she drilled a left-footer into the lower right corner to make it 2-1.
But Hillsborough closed it out with a goal in the final two minutes. Haumschild scored on a cross from Plant’s Sophia Sanchez.
In the boys game, Garrett Bocon of Seminole made the decisive goal in the shootout and Countryside’s Danny George had two key saves.
Pinellas started the scoring 16 minutes in. East Lake’s Hunter Davis took a perfect pass from Clearwater Central Catholic’s Kyle Curinga down the right side and made a run at goal. He angled a shot from 15 yards that skidded into the left corner.
In the second Hillsborough failed to clear a ball deep in its defensive zone with 37 minutes left. Dunedin’s Teddy Aloizakis stole the ball, dished to Dixie Hollins’ Eldi Feimi then got the ball back on a give-and-go. Aloizakis buried his shot from 10 yards out.
Just five minutes later, Hillsborough got on the board with a goal by Plant City’s Cameron Roberts. Jesuit’s Brent Durrance gathered a shot that hit off the post and passed to Roberts.
Durrance was on the other end of a Hillsborough goal three minutes later. Sickles’ Carlos Rodriguez lofted a corner kick in front of the goal and Durrance buried the header to tie the game.
Seminole’s Tarik Salkicic had a chance to win in overtime, but his penalty kick with two minutes left sailed wide right.