MORE from our HomeTeam writers.
CLEARWATER — The Hillsborough/Pinellas soccer all-star game held up trends from last year. The Hillsborough girls started a trend by beating Pinellas 4-2, making it their second win in a row. The Hillsborough boys held on for 90 minutes in regulation, tied 2-2 but upheld a six-year trend by falling 4-2 in the overtime shootout.
Steinbrenner had three girls representing. It took two of them, Marley Opila and Alexis Bredeau five minutes to put Hillsborough on the board. Opila played a corner kick from the right side and Bredeau headed it in from the far post.
“We always look for each other when we play, whether it’s with Steinbrenner or here,” Bredeau said. “We’ll be doing it for the next four years, too.”
Bredeau and Opila are headed to North Florida to play soccer.
Shortly after, East Lake’s Angela Chiacchia knotted the score. Eight minutes into the second half, Gaither’s Jessica Lawless put Hillsborough up for good when she cleaned up a rebound off the Pinellas keeper. Bredeau scored another in a one-on-one matchup with the keeper, and Oplia put the icing on the cake when she cleaned up a close in shot to make it 4-1. East Lake’s Kristy Legoas scored late to finalize the score at 4-2.
In the boys game, the teams fought for the first 30 minutes before Dunedin’s Jonathan Dos Santos scored off a defensive turnover.
Hillsborough struck back when Strawberry Crest’s Mazeed Aro-Lambo bumped a header just over the Pinellas keeper’s reach. The 1-1 tie held for the next 28 minutes until East Lake’s Mathias Ghiena found the ball at his feet, about 35 yards from goal, in the Hillsborough half.
“I had a good feeling I could just rip it,” Ghiena said. “It feels good to score like that, keep the (Pinellas win streak) history alive.”
The Hillsborough boys refused to go away and pressed the action for the next 20 minutes. They forced corner kicks, saves and deep throw-ins before Aro-Lambo struck again off a cross from Tampa Prep’s Macsen Pritchard. A late push came up short, and Hillsborough was forced into a shootout. The teams missed their first attempts but Pinellas’ James Skonicki, David Caulfield, Jeffrey Holecek and
Sean Covington won their battles with the Hillsborough keeper and only Thiago Silveira and Shaddy Douidar converted for Hillsborough.
Caroline Bado and Jordan Turner were the girls MVPs, Aro-Lambo and Josh Presig were the boys.