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SEMINOLE — Seminole’s boys soccer team can be controlled on occasion — for a few minutes, maybe a half.
Then things seem to explode.
Soccer balls start finding their way into the net. The offense becomes unhinged, getting contributions from everyone.
Suddenly the frenzy is on and every possession seemingly produces a score. A tight game becomes a blowout.
It happened Friday in the Warhawks’ 4-1 win over Hialeah American in the Class 4A state semifinals.
“Once we get one goal, it’s like we just can’t stop,” the Warhawks’ Yann Cerf said. “We just keep the momentum and keep scoring.”
Seminole was down 1-0 after American’s Andres Herrera scored midway through the first half.
Trailing in games is nothing new to Seminole. It rallied in the district final to beat Clearwater and in numerous other games during the regular season.
Instead of worrying, the Warhawks started scoring. Minutes after allowing its only goal, Seminole tied the game on a shot by Liam Murphy to force a 1-1 tie at halftime.
The Warhawks went ahead when Cerf scored what turned out to be the winning goal 12 minutes into the second half.
“This is a second-half team,” Seminole coach Rick Masi said. “We’ve battled through adversity before and these guys just hung together, believed in each other and got it done.”
Still, a one-goal lead was not enough, especially against American, which has a knack for scoring goals in bunches to pull out games toward the end of regulation.
The Warhawks added to their lead on a goal by Tarik Salkicic and another by Garrett Bocon from 25 yards out on a free kick.
“When we were ahead 2-1, I didn’t know if that was going to be enough because American was capable of coming back,” Cerf said. “Once we got it to 3-1 and then 4-1, then I knew I could rest a little easier.”