ST. PETERSBURG — Regulation had spilled into overtime in Thursday's Class 2A, District 10 semifinal between Sarasota Out-of-Door and Shorecrest. That did not settle things either.
So after 100 minutes of soccer, the game would be decided by its harshest of verdicts: penalty kicks.
Five players from each team set the ball 12 yards from the goal. Through one round, the score was tied 3-3. Out came another group of players.
Chargers captain Matt Reese did not want a part of this. He asked to be excluded from the first round of kicks and had to be convinced to be part of the second.
Reese blasted his shot through the net then watched Out-of-Door's Michael Finnazzo send a shot that hooked wide. That allowed Shorecrest to advance to tonight's final against top-seeded Bradenton St. Stephen's at 7.
"I was definitely nervous when I went out there," Reese said. "I just kept my head down and focused on the ball. I knew that shot was going in."
The victory was redemption for the Chargers, who lost to Out-of-Door in last season's district semifinals on a goal with 20 seconds left in the second overtime.
"This was sweet for us," Shorecrest coach Jeff Diedrich said. "We had this one on our radar all season."
Both teams scored a goal in the second half of regulation. The Chargers (9-8-2) went ahead on a shot from Rheese Wiltshire from 25 yards. The Thunder tied it with about 20 minutes left when Finnazzo headed in a shot off of a corner kick.
Both teams had chances in regulation that were saved, blasted high or sliced.
"It was a tense game," Diedrich said. "We just had to take a deep breath, especially after the (first) round of penalty kicks. We made a big save at the end of the first round that gave us the momentum we needed."