SEMINOLE — In Wednesday night’s matchup between Clearwater and Osceola, the Warriors girls cruised in a 5-2 win while the Warriors boys battled to a 2-2 tie.
“It was a hard-fought game, that’s what we expect from Clearwater,” Warriors boys coach Al Sousa said.
The Tornadoes (4-2-2) struck first in the boys match when Nicholas Xenakis got around defender Spencer Finkhausen, got one-on-one with keeper Maverick Abulone and went far post.
Osceola (3-1-3) struck right back as Nick Dawson tipped a ball up to Caulin Donaldson, who tied the game at 1. Just a couple minutes later, Luis Ocana set up Armin Tabakovic for the go-ahead goal. The Warriors had some chances but finished the half down 2-1.
It took just seven minutes into the second half for Donaldson to get the equalizer.
“We want to create high pressure to get that equalizer in the first 20 minutes,” Sousa said.
At 2-2 the pace slowed as the Warriors still battled for set pieces on the offensive end and defender John Tischner locked down forward Donovan Price on his many forays into the Warriors’ 18-yard box.
With 10 minutes to go, the pace ramped up as Donaldson almost had another goal as Alvaro Zuloaga nearly got it on the ricochet. Finkhausen nearly set up Dawson for the winning score.
Then the Tornadoes took their turn with Andre Shella crossing to Price. Price sent another shot into the box but another Tornado was flagged for offsides.
Akeem Wynter nearly set up Price for the winner but it was denied, with sophomore Dylan Donaldson making a key stop.
The Warriors had one last try with Jake Luff setting up Caulin Donaldson, who pushed it just wide.
The Osceola girls (8-1-1) found it easy going in the first half. Gabrielle Holcombe set up Courtney Smith for the first score. Rebecca Dirks made it 2-0 before Emma Steele got one back for the Tornadoes (4-2-1) just before the half.
Leah Pecora made it 3-1 early in the second half but then Lindsey Perkins found Steele, who scored her second of the night to make it 3-2.
From there it was all Warriors, notably Cassidy Reich, who put relentless pressure on the Tornadoes’ back line and scored two goals, one with 20 minutes to play and another in the last seven minutes.