LUTZ — Osceola knew all about Steinbrenner's high-scoring offense. And Osceola wasn't intimidated — at least for a half.
But Steinbrenner's relentless offense eventually wore down Osceola and Steinbrenner captured a 4-2 win Thursday in the Class 4A region quarterfinals.
If Osceola (12-6-1) was concerned about Steinbrenner's aggressive style of play, it didn't show early, even after Steinbrenner took a 1-0 lead five minutes into the game. After all, Steinbrenner had put up 16 goals in the district tournament alone.
But that didn't seem to faze Osceola.
After Steinbrenner (17-2-2) opened the scoring five minutes into the match when Alexis Bredeau's corner kick skidded off Osceola goalkeeper Tammy Allen's hands and into the goal, Osceola struck back — twice.
Samantha Pifer netted two goals 10 minutes apart to lift the Warhawks to a 2-1 advantage with 20 minutes left in the first half.
But Steinbrenner kept pushing the ball and its aggressive offense paid off when a CiCi Gonzalez free kick was redirected by Morgan Melatti to tie the match.
The second half was a different story as Steinbrenner pounded the ball at Osceola, firing 16 second-half shots before breaking through with a game-deciding goal from Bredeau and an insurance score by Danielle Eule.
"That was heart-wrenching for us," said Bredeau about Steinbrenner's repeated shots on goal in the second half. "We had so many chances. But the plan was to keep on trying. We knew we could put it away."
"In games like these it's believing and pressure and they (Steinbrenner) put pressure on us," Osceola coach Kevin Veroneau said. "Kudos to them."