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4A region soccer: Sunlake 2, Pasco 1

DADE CITY — Sunlake's Jordan Landry entered Tuesday's region semifinal against Pasco with 50 goals on the season.

None, however, was more important than No. 51.

Landry received a pass in the box on a quick free kick taken by Calvin Restrepo and slotted a shot past Pasco goalkeeper Angel Garcia in the 53rd minute to score the winning goal in a 2-1 victory over Pasco.

With the win, Sunlake — which had never made the playoffs until this season — advances to the region final.

"We set a goal: go all the way to the state finals," Landry said. "That's where we're trying to get at right now. My team, my boys, they're really doing a heck of a job out there. Couldn't ask for any better."

Landry's goal was set up after teammate Colin Armstrong was fouled near the edge of Pasco's box. Sensing the Pirates weren't paying attention, Restrepo took the free kick early and played a ball off on the right edge of the box to a waiting Landry.

"Me and Calvin, we've been playing a few years together. … We were on the same page," Landry said. "I just looked at him in the eyes, and he knew what I was thinking, 'Pass me the ball.' "

Sunlake (20-8-1) came out attacking at the beginning of both halves and was rewarded with goals each time. In the fourth minute, Conner Gilboy lobbed a pass from the right edge of the box toward goal, where Armstrong was waiting. Unmarked, Armstrong jumped high into the air and sent a looping header over Garcia for the game's first goal and his first goal in more than two months.

"They definitely caught us asleep on the second goal, that was a sure thing," Pasco coach Barry Grayling said. "The first goal, we just weren't marking up. We paid the price."

After falling behind, Pasco (21-3) started playing more like the team that knocked off Land O'Lakes on Thursday. The Pirates controlled possession, utilizing quick combination passes to keep the ball away from Sunlake.

The Seahawks defense held tight though and nearly escaped the first half without surrendering a goal until Jose Flores sent a well-placed pass in the 36th minute from the right edge of the box across the field to the far post, where sophomore forward Carlos Riojas was waiting to one-time a shot past Sunlake goalkeeper David Danahy.

"I thought the last 20 minutes of the first half they put it to us," Sunlake coach Sam Koleduk said. "I thought they were playing really well. I thought the second half was pretty good. I thought it was a pretty good half for both teams."

Tied 1-1 at halftime, Sunlake came out of the break with renewed purpose. Once Landry made it 2-1, the Seahawks packed it in defensively, keeping at least nine people back in defense at all times to prevent Pasco from creating any solid scoring opportunities.

And it worked. Pasco kept possession, but couldn't move the ball through the defense to set up any threatening scoring chances.

"If you look at the possession total, we had more possession first and second half," Grayling said. "But if you don't put it in the back of the net, you don't win soccer games."

.up next

Region final

Friday at 7 p.m.

4A: Sunlake at Celebration

4A region soccer: Sunlake 2, Pasco 1 02/08/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 8, 2011 11:15pm]
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