SEMINOLE — Osceola began the 2010-11 campaign with a depleted roster because several players were still competing on state finalist cross country team.
The Warriors gradually have found their chemistry and have started to come together, winning eight of their past nine with the loss coming in a 2-1 defeat to highly ranked Seminole.
The Warriors followed up an 8-0 win over Bayshore Christian with a gritty 3-1 victory over Braden River in the 4A-10 semifinals. Adelyne Brainard scored once and assisted on the other goals as Osceola set up a rematch with Lakewood Ranch at 1 p.m. today.
"We've been working on our through balls and clearing the ball to create opportunities on the offensive side, and we had some good results tonight," said Brainard, who scored three goals against Bayshore on Thursday. "We're playing really well now. We just have to finish better. We had some opportunities tonight that we should have put in the net."
Brainard put Osceola up early when she received a timely placed through ball up the middle around the top of the penalty box from Tara Thomas and the senior captain rifled it easily past Braden River keeper Taryn Gillette.
After Braden River tied the score on a goal by Morgan Haas, the Warriors (12-5) went ahead for good minutes later when Brainard crossed the ball from the right edge of the penalty box on a direct kick in which Tori Sturz headed past Gillette. Brainard was involved on an insurance goal by Thomas just before half.
"This was a good game to help prepare us for (Lakewood Ranch) because the pace of the game was so quick and there was some rough play out there," Osceola coach Kevin Veroneau said. "We need to do better with the opportunities we had tonight, but if we're able to have our defense play the way it did tonight and if we capitalize on the chances we have, we'll have a chance to beat them."
Rebels shut out: Dixie Hollins couldn't get anything going in a 5-0 loss to host Lakewood Ranch.
Dixie Hollins (7-8-1) couldn't muster one shot on goal, allowing Lakewood Ranch freshman goalkeeper Alexandra Latham to virtually have the night off.
It was the 15th shutout for Latham, who has 40 saves and has allowed only five goals all season.
The Rebels lost earlier in the season to Lakewood Ranch 8-0.