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2A state girls soccer: Tampa Prep falls 2-0 in final

Tampa Prep and Alyssa Bryant, on left battling Delray Beach American Heritage’s Tara McNab, found themselves playing on the defensive for most of the Class 2A final Friday night.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Tampa Prep and Alyssa Bryant, on left battling Delray Beach American Heritage’s Tara McNab, found themselves playing on the defensive for most of the Class 2A final Friday night.

TAMPA — Tampa Prep goalkeeper Jordan Hatton walked off the field at halftime of the Terrapins' Class 2A state championship soccer match and replayed two kicks over in her mind.

"You're thinking about everything you could have done," said Hatton, who gave up two goals in a 90-second span in an eventual 2-0 loss to Delray Beach American Heritage. "But after a while, you realize there's nothing you can do about it now."

Two years ago, Tampa Prep beat American Heritage to win its first state crown. On Friday, the teams met again with gold on the line at the University of Tampa's Pepin Stadium, which is less than a block south from Tampa Prep's campus on North Boulevard.

Most players on this year's junior-laden Terps team were part of the 2008 win, but they tried not to get lost in the memories.

In fact, few believed this Terrapins squad would get this far. They had a handful more losses than the past two state tournament teams and had lost key players. Just as they did two years ago, they entered the state final as a heavy underdog.

This time, the Terps' title hopes disappeared into the blustery air quickly, as the dominating Stallions scored two quick first-half goals.

"Now we know how they felt," said junior midfielder Jackie Rosenthal, who played throughout the postseason with a torn meniscus in her knee.

On both goals, there was actually little Hatton, the Terps' spectacular senior keeper, could do.

After American Heritage dominated the attack, it seemed like just a matter of time before it would break through. In the 30th minute, Heritage senior Christina Cobb took the ball on the right side, eluded five defenders and launched a shot in front of the net past Hatton.

In the 31st minute, freshman Sarah Coy took a pass in front of the net and beat Hatton from about 10 yards out.

"I think maybe we gave them too much respect," Hatton said. "We came out too soft, and we weren't fighting."

Tampa Prep first-year coach Cindy Schofield said that even her own players just recently believed in this season's promise. After a region semifinal win over heavyweight Bradenton St. Stephen's, it seemed as if this Terps season would end with another fantastic finish.

But the Terps were overwhelmed from the opening whistle, most of the game played on Tampa Prep's defensive end. After the Stallions scored both goals going into 18-mph wind gusts, the Terps (20-6-4) faced a daunting task in the second half.

Instead, Hatton made three more diving saves, the Stallions (23-2-3) hit the crossbar two times and defender Evvie Walker cleared another ball in front of an open net.

"We were intimidated from the warmup," Schofield said. "We walked in here and were defeated before the warmup even started. I don't know why that is because we're a good team. … From the opening whistle, we never got into a rhythm. It just wasn't our soccer."

. State soccer

Friday's results

All games at the University of Tampa's Pepin Stadium

2A: Delray Beach American Heritage 2, Tampa Prep 0

5A: Melbourne 2, George Jenkins 1; Seminole 1, Mosley 0

6A: Boca Raton 2, Winter Springs 0; Palm Harbor U. 2, Miami Lourdes 0

Today's games

3A: Final, 11 a.m.

5A: Final, 1:30 p.m.

6A: Final, 4 p.m.

2A state girls soccer: Tampa Prep falls 2-0 in final 02/12/10 [Last modified: Saturday, February 13, 2010 12:16am]
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