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4A girls soccer: First-year Steinbrenner remains unbeaten

LUTZ — Steinbrenner coach Teresa Patterson wasn't exactly sure how many wins her team had after Thursday's Class 4A region quarterfinal against Palmetto.

But she knew exactly how many losses it had: Zero.

Staked to an early 3-0 lead, the Warriors held off a Palmetto rally to post the first region playoff win in the school's brief existence with a 4-2 triumph at home.

"Another little piece of history," Patterson said. "Every time we step out here it's making history."

Steinbrenner is 18-0-2 in its inaugural season and takes on another unbeaten in next week's region semifinals — Bradenton Lakewood Ranch, which is 17-0-1.

Making history against Palmetto wasn't easy. The Warriors' early 3-0 lead shrank to 3-2 by halftime, and the Tigers missed on a chance to tie it early in the second half. From that point, however, Palmetto (15-7-2) was unable to mount even a challenge as Steinbrenner's backline of sweeper Carly Keene, Kaitlyn Huntzinger and Lauren Laughlin clamped down.

With 15 minutes remaining, Laughlin played a perfect long ball to C.C. Gonzalez, who ran onto it and made a short run before abruptly stopping to deke her defender, leaving her with a shot she converted for her 30th goal of the season.

Gonzalez also had a goal in the first half, splitting two defenders and beating the keeper one on one in the 18th minute to make it 3-0. That followed a goal by Kelsey Huntzinger and a header by Taylor Valley on Marley Opila's perfect corner kick.

Valley wasn't even sure she would play. After hurting her knee in Friday's district final, her family made four doctor appointments; three were canceled because the nearby doctors had to go to Haiti.

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4A girls soccer: First-year Steinbrenner remains unbeaten 01/28/10 [Last modified: Thursday, January 28, 2010 11:03pm]
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