ST. PETERSBURG — Clearwater Central Catholic dropped an earlier matchup this season to Tampa Catholic.
But in Wednesday night's game the Marauders won the one that mattered most, defeating the Crusaders 6-5 on penalty kicks after the game ended 1-1.
"Tampa Catholic is a great team," CCC coach Jim Harte said. "We have a lot of respect for them. We aren't afraid of them, but we respect them."
The Marauders will face Berkeley Prep in the 3A-10 district final.
CCC dominated the beginning of the first half but weren't able to capitalize on any scoring chances. The Crusaders made the most of their first chance when Andrew Buckley took a pass from Matt Moore and beat the goalkeeper to the bottom left corner.
The Crusaders had other chances in the first half but came away empty as they missed wide of the net.
To start the second half the Crusaders encountered many of the same problems with sailing shots over the crossbar.
CCC tied the game at 1 when defender Ryan Seidl took a crossing pass from Jared Brown and one-timed it into the net.
"The credit goes to our team nature," Harte said. "We have no stars and everyone works together."
The Crusaders looked to have taken another lead as Buckley scored, but the goal was negated by an offside penalty.
In the overtime periods neither team could gain any momentum and the game went to penalty kicks. Both teams missed their first shots before making five straight. The Crusaders' seventh kicker missed wide before David Campbell ended the game with a goal.
"I feel very bad for our seniors," Crusaders coach Kevin McCarron said. "We had that one goal called off, and it wasn't offsides."
In the second semifinal, Theo Wells scored four goals to lead Berkeley Prep to a 9-1 victory over St. Petersburg Catholic. Justin Vogel, Austin Chen, Scott Campbell and Connor Castro also scored for the Bucs. Elliot Krueger scored the Barons' only goal.