ST. PETERSBURG — Breaking tradition.
That's the mantra repeated by Indian Rocks Christian following its upset, come-from-behind 2-1 victory Thursday against Shorecrest in the 2A-10 district final.
Three straight years the Golden Eagles advanced to the district final against Shorecrest only to fall each time, the past two in penalty kick shootouts.
Because of those losses, Indian Rocks had to travel to Tampa Prep for the region quarterfinals where its season came to an abrupt end each time.
This go-round, Jensen Eifert and the rest of the Golden Eagles were having none of it.
"It's a tradition. We always lose to them in the district final, and then we always lose in the first round of regionals," Eifert said. "We were just so fed up losing to them. (Wednesday) in practice, we didn't even practice penalty kicks because we were determined not to let it get to that point again."
Trailing 1-0, Eifert got the Golden Eagles (13-6) back in the game 15 minutes into the second half after stealing a pass deep and rifling a shot past Chargers goalkeeper Tori Diaz (two saves).
With momentum on its side, Indian Rocks eighth-grader Hannah Davis scored the winner five minutes later. The goal came after Juliette Raissi's shot deflected off a defender to Davis, who lifted a looping ball over Diaz.
"I told them at halftime, 'This is your game. You've worked so hard the last three months, you decide what you want to do,' " IRC coach Joe Raissi said. "And they wanted to win."
Shorecrest (11-6-1), which peppered Brittany Witherington (six saves) with 13 shots, scored moments before halftime on a blast from Jenn Casey.