ST. PETERSBURG — Shorecrest was not about to let a repeat of last year's 2A-11 district playoffs happen.
The host Chargers, who scuffled to a 3-0 win over Northside Christian in 2008, scored three early goals against the Mustangs on Friday, rolling to a 6-1 victory.
"Last year, we were coming off an 8-0 regular-season victory and we entered the playoff game with a bit of overconfidence," coach Jeff Diedrich said of his Chargers, who struggled to a scoreless halftime before winning that contest.
"We didn't want the same thing to happen this year so we really had a good focus and understanding on how to approach this game. We used last year's game as a springboard to motivate our players into treating them with respect."
Stephen Spanos was instrumental in propelling the Chargers (17-3-3) to the dominating win. The senior striker scored four goals to improve his season total to 47.
"If he isn't the Pinellas County Player of the Year, I don't know who is," Diedrich said.
Spanos put the Chargers on the board first when he received a throw-in pass from Hunter Tremaine on the right side of the box and rifled a shot past Northside Christian goalie Logan Barnett. After Toms Bernhards-Callahan scored the Chargers' second goal, Spanos was fouled in the penalty box and tallied his second goal after he rebounded his missed penalty kick and shuffled the ball easily in.
"We didn't want to underestimate them so we came out with an aggressive approach," Spanos said. "We have the right personalities to help us jell as a team where we're naturally aggressive so it works out well. This win is the type that can give us good momentum heading into the next game."
Northside (6-8-2) got on the board before the half when Seth Rogers scored on a penalty kick after Barnett, who had moved from keeper to striker, was fouled in the box.