LAND O'LAKES — In the past it has been a difficult task for Land O'Lakes to get beyond the first round of the state playoffs, as the Gators have been knocked out during the first round three of the past four seasons.
This postseason the Gators started off on a positive note with a sound 3-0 victory against Wesley Chapel (10-14-1) in a 4A quarterfinal matchup at Gator Stadium on Thursday night.
Afterward, Gators coach Mark Pearson did not seem satisfied with his team's effort versus the Wildcats.
"We were very flat tonight," Pearson said. "I think mentally maybe because of the last score line when we last played them, and maybe we were looking ahead to (Mitchell)."
On Dec. 10, Land O'Lakes (18-3-2) defeated Wesley Chapel 7-0 at home.
But the second time around Wesley Chapel came better prepared, allowing three goals on 19 shots from the Gators.
But Thursday Wesley Chapel could not find the back of the net.
Early in the first half the Wildcats had a couple opportunities on Gators goalkeeper Kody Parker (five saves) but could not cash in.
In the 10th minute Land O'Lakes struck on the first of two goals from senior forward Andrew Gorgen in the first half. Both scores were assisted by junior midfielder Justin Lyles. Land O'Lakes tacked on one more goal, from midfielder Evan Reidy, to close out the scoring.
Land O'Lakes will travel to Trinity on Thursday to take on Mitchell, a 5-1 winner over Wiregrass Ranch.