ST. PETERSBURG — Bradenton St. Stephen's has Shorecrest's number this season. Having shut out the Chargers in their first meeting, Friday night's 2A-10 final was more of the same as St. Stephen's triumphed 2-0. Both teams advance to the region playoffs.
The teams opened with scoring chances but neither was able to find the back of the net. Shorecrest's Katie Martinez made a sliding block of a shot from her left back position, and Jenn Casey's shot on the Falcons' goal was denied by keeper Shannon Morrish.
"Our defense really held down the fort," Chargers coach Neal Wolfrath said. "We only had three in back so we could send more people forward to put pressure on them."
The Falcons notched their first goal in the ninth minute. Shorecrest had a corner kick that was cleared by the St. Stephen's defense. The Falcons counterattacked and Martine Miller fired a pass to Alyssa Allen, who beat the keeper.
"That first goal kind of deflated us a little," Wolfrath said. "It took a while to regroup but we were then able to get what we want."
Allen added her second goal in the 29th minute as she took a pass from Kristi Jones, beat two defenders and then the keeper.
The Chargers continued to fight in the second half but couldn't generate any goals against a stingy Falcons defense.
While they didn't get the district title, the Chargers are happy to be moving on.
"We've been there before and right now it's about consistency," Wolfrath said. "We have to continue the tradition and put together good game plans."