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SPRING HILL — For the sixth time in as many seasons he has been the coach, Springstead’s Polo Furlong is leading his program to the state playoffs.
The Eagles punched their ticket with a 4-0 shutout victory at Central on Tuesday night in the Class 5A, District 7 semifinals.
While Monica Vega (three saves) started in goal for Springstead (9-5-2), the key to the one-sided win wasn’t on defense as much as it was on the offensive side of the ball. Controlling the action in the Bears’ zone for much of the contest, the Eagles barely gave Central (5-7-7) a chance to score, outshooting their opponents 21-3.
The scoring didn’t come easily for Springstead at first. Although they attacked Central keeper Sarah Kaspars (11 saves) steadily throughout the first half, it took a flashy piece of ball-handling from freshman midfielder Nicole Morolla to get the first score on the board in the 26th minute.
“I knew they were coming at me, and I was just trying to center (pass) it,” Morolla said. “That’s when I saw it go off one of the Central (players) and go in.”
The floodgates opened in the second half as Springstead scored three times on its first five shots, including two goals from leading scorer Tara Vasquez. The sophomore forward has 17 goals on the season, four more than her total as a freshman.
Senior captain Alyson Brady scored the final goal, looping a shot just under the crossbar from about 20 yards with 13 minutes left in regulation.
“I talked to the girls at halftime about being patient and it started to work out,” Furlong said. “Now we have to focus our attention to the next game.”